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Photograph by Alfred Cheney Johnston 

At 70 


An Autobiography 



The Macmillan Company 

Copyright, 1939, by 

All rights reserved no part of this book 
may be reproduced in any form without 
permission in writing from the publisher, 
except by a reviewer who wishes to quote brief 
passages in connection with a review written 
for inclusion in magazine or newspaper. 





My Sister and My Loyal Friend 













ANCE 202 





16. WOMEN AND WAR 319 




INDEX 409 





AT McCLURE'S, 1898 











IF IT had not been for the Panic of 1857 and the long depression 
which followed it I should have been born in Taylor County, Iowa. 
That was what my father and mother had planned. In fact, how- 
ever, I was born in a log house in Erie County, Pennsylvania, on 
November 5, 1857. It was the home of my pioneering maternal 
grandfather Walter Raleigh McCullough. No home in which I 
have ever lived has left me with pleasanter memories of itself. It 
was a Cape Cod house, a story and a half high, built of matched 
hewn logs, its floors of narrow fitted oak planks, its walls ceiled, 
its "upstairs 55 finished, a big fireplace in its living room. There 
were spreading frame outbuildings to accommodate the multiple 
activities of a farm which was in my time a going concern. I re- 
member best the big cool milk room with its dozens of filled pans 
on the racks, its huge wooden bowl heaped with yellow butter on 
its way to the firkin, its baskets piled with eggs, its plump dressed 
poultry ready for market. 

Like all young married people of pioneer ancestry and experi- 
ence having their way to make, my parents wanted land. Land of 
their own, combined with what my father could earn at his profes- 
sion as a teacher and his trade as a joiner, meant future security. 
It was the proved way of the early American. 

After much looking about in northwestern Pennsylvania where 
the families of both were settled, they had decided that the West 
offered greater opportunity and so in the spring of 1857, a 
year after his marriage, my father, Franklin Sumner Tarbell 
by name, started out to find a farm. He had but little money in 
his pocket, and the last one hundred fifty miles of his search were 

made on foot. How enthusiastic he was over the claim he at last 


secured ! His letters tell of the splendid dome of sky which covered 
it, of the far view over the prairie, of marvelous flowers and birds, 
of the daily passing along the horizon of a stream of covered 
wagons, settlers bound for California, Pikes Peak, Kansas, Ne- 
braska; and some of them, he found, were earlier Iowa settlers, 
leaving the very state which for the moment seemed to Mm the 
gate to Paradise. 

He set himself gaily at breaking land, building the house for 
mother, working in a sawmill to pay for the lumber. He did it 
alone, even to the making of window frames and doors. I know 
how he did it whistling from morning till night, mischief and 
tenderness chasing each other across his blue eyes as he thought 
of my mother's coming, their future together. 

The plan they had made provided for her going west with their 
household goods in August. The money was arranged for, so they 
thought ; but before it was taken from the bank the panic came, 
and every county bank in Pennsylvania was closed. There was no 
money anywhere, nothing for my mother to do but stay where she 
was while my father struggled to earn by teaching and carpenter 
work the money which would bring us on. But the panic reached 
Iowa, dried up its money supply. People were living by barter, 
my father reported. What a heartbreaking waiting it was for 
them, coming as it did after an engagement of six years every 
week of which they had both found long ! 

The fall and winter of 1857, the spring and summer of 1858 
passed. Still there was no money to be had, and then in the fall of 
1858 father started out to teach his way to us. Before he found a 
school he had walked one hundred and eighty miles walked until 
his shoes and clothes were worn and tattered. It was "shabby and 
broke," as he had written it would be, that he finally in the spring 
of 1859, when I was a year and a half old, made his way back to 
my mother still living in the log house in Erie County. 

According to the family annals I deeply resented the intimacy 
between the strange man and my mother, so far my exclusive pos- 

Esther Ann McCullougli TarbeTL and 
Ida Minerva Tarbell, November '5 9 1858 


session. Flinging my arms about my mother, so the story went, I 
cried, "Go away, bad man. 95 

The problem for my father now was to earn money to take us 
back to Iowa, for my mother to continue her patient waiting. 
For a dozen years before her marriage she had taught in district 
schools in Erie County, as well as in a private school of an aunt 
in Poughkeepsie ? New York. She was a good teacher, but she was 
married! She must stay with her family then until her husband 
had a home ready for her ; so ruled my grandmother,, chock-full as 
she was of the best and severest New England rules for training 
girls to be ladies. You might live in a log house. You were re- 
minded loftily that many of the "best families" had done that 
while "settling the country, 95 but you must "never forget who you 
are ! 99 "Remember that your father is a McCullough of an ancient 
and honored Scotch clan, his mother a Raleigh of Sir Walter 9 s fam- 
ily, that I am a Seabury, my great-uncle the first Episcopal 
Bishop in the United States, my mother a Welles, her father on 
Washington 9 s staff." It was a litany her four daughters all had 
to learn ! 

Exciting employment waited my father. For six or seven years 
before his marriage, when he was earning his way through the 
Academy of Jamestown, New York, he spent his summers running 
a fleet of three or more flatboats of merchandise to be delivered at 
trading points on the Allegheny and the Ohio River always as 
far south as Louisville, sometimes even up the Mississippi. "Cap- 
tain Tarbell," his small and jolly crew called him. The River was 
the chief highway of a great country. To its waters came the 
pioneer and trader, the teacher, the preacher, the scientist, the 
prophet, as well as every species of gambler, charlatan, speculator, 
swindler, cutthroat. My father's stories of what he saw were 
among the joys of my childhood: a great fleet of steamboats 
burning at Pittsburgh, a hanging, river churches and preachers 
and show boats, children who never knew other homes than a boat, 
towns, cities, and what he loved best of all nights floating quietly 


down the great Ohio, the moon above. Not strange that after those 
cruel months of working his way back to us he should have seized 
this opportunity again to take charge of his Jamestown friend 5 s 
river enterprise. 

The trip went well, and at the end of August ? 1859, he turned 
back, money in his pocket to take us to Iowa. But as he journeyed 
eastward he was met everywhere by excitement. A man had drilled 
a well near a lumber settlement in northwestern Pennsylvania 
Titusville it was called drilled for oil and found it, quantities of 
it. My father, like most men who traveled up and down the 
Allegheny and Ohio in those days, was familiar with crude petro- 
leum. He had used it to grease creaking machinery and, too, as a 
medicine, a general cure-all, Seneca oil; used it for the colds, 
the fever and ague, the weak lungs which had afflicted him from 
boyhood. He knew, too, that there were those who believed that if 
rock oil, as it was called, could be found in sufficient quantities it 
would make a better light than the coal and whale oils then in 
common use. The well near Titusville producing twenty-five to 
one hundred barrels a day nobody knew how much proved that 
if other reservoirs or veins could be opened by such drilling there 
would be oil to light the world. 

Rumors were exciting and grew in the telling. The nearer he 
came to Erie County, the bigger the well. He met men on foot and 
horseback making their way in. Something to look into before he 
started back to Iowa. He looked into it, not merely at Titusville 
with its first well, but down the stream on which the first well 
stood and where other wells were already drilling. Oil Creek, it was 
called. What if they continued to get oil? my father asked him- 
self. Where would they put it? They would need tanks, tanks in 
numbers. He believed he could build one that would hold five 
hundred or more barrels. He said as much to the owner of a well 
drilling down the creek near the mouth of a tributary called 
Cherry Run. "Show me a model that won't leak, and I'll give you 
an order." He lost no time in making his model and got his order. 


Here was a chance for a business if oil continued to be found, 
a business with rnore money in it than he had ever dreamed of 
making. Moreover, he knew all the elements of that business, had 
had experience in handling them. Tank building called for his 
trade, that of the joiner. Iowa could wait. 

By the summer of 1860 he had his shop going at the mouth of 
Cherry Run near the well for which he had received his first order. 
The shop running, he built what was to be my mother's first home 
of her own, the one for which with infinite confidence and infinite 
pain she had been waiting since her marriage four years and a 
half before. 

It was in October of 1860 that my father drove his little family 
over the Allegheny foothills some forty miles. There were two of 
us children now, for in July of 1860 my brother William Walter 
Tarbell, named from his two grandfathers, had been born. Close 
beside his shop father had built a shanty. It had a living room 
with an alcove, a family bedroom with trundle beds for us chil- 
dren, and a kitchen. A covered passage led into the shop, which 
was soon to be the joy of my life for here were great piles of long 
odorous curly pine shavings into which to roll, to take naps, to 
trim my gown, and in which to search day in and day out for the 
longest, the curliest. 

But these shavings and my delight in them were a later dis- 
covery. My first reaction to my new surroundings was one of acute 
dislike. It aroused me to a revolt which is the first thing I am sure 
I remember about my life the birth in me of conscious experi- 
ence. This revolt did not come from natural depravity; on the 
contrary it was a natural and righteous protest against having the 
life and home I had known, and which I loved, taken away with- 
out explanation and a new scene, a new set of rules which I did 
not like, suddenly imposed. 

My life in the log house had been full of joyous interests. There 
were turkeys and ducks and chickens, lambs and colts and calves, 
kittens and puppies never could I be without playmates. There 


were trees and woods and flowers In summer a great fireplace 
with popcorn and maple candy in winter, and I an only grand- 
child the center of it all. But what had I come to? As mother 
realized, a place of perils, a creek rushing wildly at the side of the 
house, great oil pits sunken in the earth not far away, a derrick 
inviting to adventurous climbing at the door. No wonder that 
warnings and scoldings and occasional switchings dogged my 
steps. Moreover, I was no longer the center of the circle: a baby 
filled her arms "my" arms ! A man still strange gave me orders 
and claimed her "my 59 mother. 

It was not to be endured, and so one November day just after 
my third birthday I announced I was going to leave. "Going back 
to Grandma." "Very well," my mother said. I knew the way the 
men went when they walked away from the shop, and I followed it, 
but not far. Across the valley in which we lived ran an embank- 
ment. To my young eyes it was as high as a mountain, and the 
nearer I came the higher it looked, the higher and blacker. And 
then suddenly as I came to its foot I realized that I had never been 
on the other side, that I did not know the way to Grandma's. I 
knew I was beaten, and sat down to think it over. Never in all these 
years since have I faced defeat, known that I must retreat, that I 
have not been again that little figure with the black mountain in 
front of it, a little figure looking longingly at a shanty dim In the 
growing night but showing a light in the window. 

Finally I turned slowly back to the house and sat down on the 
steps. It seemed a long time before the door opened and my mother 
in a surprised voice said : 

"Why, Ida ! I thought you had gone to Grandma's." 

"I don't know the way," I said humbly. 

"Very well. Come in and get your supper." 

Respect for my mother, her wisdom in dealing with hard situa- 
tions, was born then. I was not to be punished; I was not to be 
laughed at ; I was to be accepted. Years later she told me of the 
unhappy hour she spent watching me go off so sturdily, to come 


back so droopingly, watching with tears running down her cheeks, 
but determined I must learn my lesson. It was a bit of wisdom she 
never ceased to practice. My mother always let me carry out my 
revolts, return when I would and no questions asked. 

In the three years we spent in the shanty on the flats there was 
but one other episode that had for me the same self -revealing 
quality as this revolt. It was my first attempt to test by experi- 
ment. The brook which ran beside the house was rapid, noisy, in 
times of high water dangerous for children. Watching it, fas- 
cinated, I observed that some things floated on the surface, others 
dropped to the bottom. It set me to wondering what would happen 
to my little brother, then in dresses^ if dropped in. I had to find 
out. There was a footbridge near the house, and one day when I 
supposed I was unobserved I led him onto it and dropped him in. 
His little skirts spread out and held him up. Fortunately at that 
moment his screams brought a near-by workman, and he was 
rescued. I suppose I was spanked; of that I remember nothing, 
only the peace of satisfied curiosity in the certainty that my 
brother belonged to the category of things which floated. 

What I really remember of these early days concerns only my 
personal discoveries, discoveries of the kind of person I was, of the 
nature of things around me which stirred my curiosity. Whether 
a childish experience was deep enough to etch itself on my mem- 
ory or I only know of it from hearing it told and retold, I al- 
ways decide by this test : if I really remember it, the happening 
is set in a scene a scene with a background, exits, entrances, and 
properties. I know I remember my revolt and defeat because I al- 
ways see it as an act on a stage, every detail, every line clear. 

Of the pregnant, bizarre, and often tragic development going 
on about me I remember nothing ; yet the uncertainties and dan- 
gers of it were part of our daily fare. 

Whether there was oil in the ground in sufficient quantities to 
justify the prodigious effort being made to find it, nobody could 
know. If not, the shop and shanty were a dead loss another long 


delay on the road to Iowa. All that winter of I860 and 1861 my 
father was asking himself that question; but in 1861 it was an- 
swered when up and down Oil Creek a succession of flowing wells 
came in, wells producing from three hundred to three thousand 
barrels a day "fountain wells," "gushers, 59 "spouters," they 
called them from the great streams which rose straight into the 
air one to two hundred feet, to fall in an oily green-black spray 
over the surrounding landscape. 

Deadly, dangerous, too, as the Oil Region learned to its sorrow 
by a disaster almost at the doorsteps of our Cherry Run home. It 
was the evening of April 17, 1861. The news of the Fall of Sumter 
had just reached the settlement, remote as it was from rail and 
telegraph connections, and all the men of the town had gathered 
after supper at one place or another to discuss the situation. What 
did it mean? What would the President do? My father was sitting 
on a cracker barrel in the one general store. As he and his friends 
talked a man ran in to tell the company that a fresh vein of oil 
had been struck in a well on the edge of the town. Its owner, Henry 
Rouse, had been drilling it deeper ; the oil was spouting over the 
derrick. Great news for the community still uncertain as to the 
extent of its field. Great news for my father. It meant tanks. 
Everybody jumped to run to the well when the earth was rocked 
by a mighty explosion. A careless light had ignited the gas which 
had spread from the flowing oil until it had enveloped everything 
in the vicinity. Before my father reached the place nineteen men, 
among them his friend the well-owner Henry Rouse, had been 
burned to death. How many had escaped and in what condition, 
nobody knew. 

Late that night as my father and mother grieved they heard 
outside their door a stumbling something. Looking out, they saw 
before them a terrible sight, a man bujned and swollen beyond 
recognition and yet alive, alive enough to give his name one of 
their friends. My mother took him in the alcove became a hos- 
pital. For weeks she nursed him the task of the woman in a 


pioneer community, a task which she accepted as her part. Thanks 
to her care, the man lived. The relics of that tragedy were long 
about our household comforts and bedquilts she had pieced and 
quilted for Iowa stained with linseed oil, but too precious to be 
thrown away. 

But all this is as something read in a book, something which has 
become more poignant as the years have gone by and I am able 
to feel what those long weeks of care over that broken man meant 
to my mother. 

The business prospered, the shop grew. Little do I remember 
of all this, or the increased comforts of life or moving into the 
new home on the hillside above the town by this time known as 
Rouseville. But the change in the outlook on the world about me, 
I do remember. We had lived on the edge of an active oil farm 
and oil town. No industry of man in its early days has ever been 
more destructive of beauty, order, decency, than the production 
of petroleum. All about us rose derricks, squatted enginehouses 
and tanks ; the earth about them was streaked and damp with the 
dumpings of the pumps, which brought up regularly the sand and 
clay and rock through which the drill had made its way. If oil 
was found, if the well flowed, every tree, every shrub, every bit of 
grass in the vicinity was coated with black grease and left to die. 
Tar and oil stained everything. If the well was dry a rickety 
derrick, piles of debris, oily holes were left, for nobody ever 
cleaned up in those days. 

But we left the center of this disorder, went to the hillside, 
looked down on it ; and as for me I no longer saw it, for opposite 
us was a hillside so steep it had never been drilled. It was clothed 
with the always changing beauty of trees and shrubs, the white 
shadflowers and the red maples, the long garlands of laurel and 
azalea in the spring, the green of every shade through the sum- 
mer, the crimson and gold, russets and tans of the fall, the f rost- 
and snow-draped trees of the winter. I did not see the derricks 
the trees. The hillside above our house and the paths which 


led around it became a playground in which I reveled. I was not 
the only one about to forget the ugliness of the Valley and remem- 
ber through life the beauty of those hillsides. Years later I was 
to know fairly well one of the great figures in the development of 
oil, Henry H. Rogers, then the active head of the Standard Oil 
Company. We discovered in talking over the early days of the 
industry that at the very moment I was beginning to run the hills 
above Rouseville he was running a small refinery on the Creek 
and living on a hillside just below ours, separated only by a nar- 
row ravine along each side of which ran a path. "Up that path," 
Mr. Rogers told me, "I used to carry our washing every Monday 
morning, go for it every Saturday night. Probably I've seen you 
hunting flowers on your side of the ravine. How beautiful it was ! 
I was never happier." That reminiscence of Henry H. Rogers is 
only one of several reasons I have for heartily liking as fine a 
pirate as ever flew his flag in Wall Street. 

Soon after we went to the home on the hill the oil country, at 
that moment suffering a depression, was stirred by the news that 
a great well had been struck ten miles from Rouseville at Pithole, 
an isolated territory to which the veterans in the business had 
never given a thought. The news caused a wild scramble. A mot- 
ley procession of men with and without money, with and without 
decency, seeking leases, jobs, opportunity for adventure, excite- 
ment and swindling travelled on foot or horseback up the Valley 
of Cherry Run in full view from our house. 

Father was one of the first to take advantage of the Pithole 
discovery, putting up his tank shops there and doing a smashing 
business during the short life of the field. Its "bottom fell out" in 
1869. He rode back and forth from his shop on a little saddle 
horse Flora, beautiful creature usually with considerable 
sums of money in his pocket. The country was full of ruffians, 
and stories of robbery were common. When he was very late in 
returning mother would walk the floor wringing her hands. I 
could never go to bed those nights until he had returned, not 


because I felt her anxiety but because of the excitement and 
mystery of it. I carried a dramatic picture of him in mind, a 
kind of Paul Revere dashing along the lonely road, the rein on 
Flora's neck, his pistol in hand. But he always came home, 
always brought the money he had collected, which he must keep 
in the tiny iron safe in his office annexed to the house until he 
could carry it to Oil City where he banked. 

My life became rapidly more conscious now that I had left the 
flats behind, experience deeper. Here was my first realization of 
tragedy. It was the spring of 1865. Father was coming up the 
hill, mother and I were watching for him. Usually he walked with 
a brisk step, head up, but now his step was slow, his head dropped. 
Mother ran to meet him crying, "Frank, Frank, what is it?" I 
did not hear the answer ; but I shall always see my mother turn- 
ing at his words, burying her face in her apron, running into her 
room sobbing as if her heart would break. And then the house 
was shut up, and crape was put on all the doors, and I was told 
that Lincoln was dead. 

From that time the name spelt tragedy and mystery. Why all 
this sorrow over a man we had never seen, who did not belong to 
our world my world? Was there something beyond the circle of 
hills within which I lived that concerned me? Why, and in what 
way, did this mysterious outside concern me? 

I was soon to learn that tragedy did not come always from a 
mysterious beyond. What a chain of catastrophes it took to teach 
the men and women who were developing the new industry the 
constant risk they ran in handling either crude or refined oil. 
They came to our very door, when a neighboring woman hurry- 
ing to build a fire in her cookstove poured oil on the wood before 
she had made sure there were no live coals in the firebox. An awful 
explosion occurred and she and two women who ran to her assist- 
ance were burned to a crisp. I heard horrified whisperings about 
me. The refusal to tell me what had happened aroused a terrible 
curiosity. I gathered that the bodies were laid out in a house not 


far away and, when nobody was looking, stole In to look at them. 
Broken sleep for me for nights. 

The mystery of death finally came into our household. There 
had been a fourth child born in the house on the hill "little 
Frankie," we always called him blue-eyed like my father, the 
sunniest of us all. For weeks one season he lay in the parlor fight- 
ing for life scarlet fever a disease more dreaded by mothers 
in those days than even smallpox. Daily I stood helpless, ago- 
nized, outside the door behind which little Frankie lay screaming 
and fighting the doctor. I remember even today how long the 
white marks lasted on the knuckles of my hands after the agony 
behind the closed door had died down and my clenched fists 

Little Frankie died, became a pathetic and beloved tradition 
in the household. My little sister, who had made a terrible and 
successful fight against the disease, told me how she could not 
understand why father and mother cried when they talked of 

"If they want to see him," she thought, "why do they not put 
a ladder from the top of the hill up to the sky into heaven and 
climb up? If Frankie is there God would let them see him." 

I have said that my first recollection of Lincoln was the impres- 
sion made by the tragedy of his death. That this was so was not 
for the lack of material on him in our household. My father was 
an ardent Republican. Back in '56 he had written from his river 
trip, "Hurrah for Fremont and Dayton." As soon as he had had 
more money than the actual needs of the family required, he had 
subscribed to Harper's Weekly, Harper's Monthly, the New 
York Tribune, began to buy books. Of all of these I remember 
only the Weekly and Monthly. My brother and I used to lie by 
the hour flat on our stomachs, heels in the air, turning over the 
exciting pages of the War numbers ; but none of it went behind 
my eyes none concerned me. Only now when I go back to the 


files of those old papers there is a whispering of something once 

Of the Monthly I have more distinct recollections. It was in 
these that I first began to read freely. Many a private picnic did 
I have with the Monthly under the thorn bushes on the hillside 
above Oil Creek, a lunch basket at my side. There are still in the 
family storeroom copies of Harper's Monthly stained with lemon 
pie dropped when I was too deep into a story to be careful. Here 
I read my first Dickens, my first Thackeray, my first Marian 
Evans, as George Eliot then signed herself. My first Wilkie Col- 
lins came to me in the Weekly. Great literature all pirated, I 
was to learn much later. My friend Viola Roseboro tells me that 
at this time she was reading Harper's pirated paper-bound copies 
of Dickens. It was much later that they came my way. 

However, all the reading I was doing was not so respectable. 
On the sly I was devouring a sheet forbidden to the household 
the 'Police Gazelle the property of the men around the house, 
for we had men around the house, men of various degrees of 
acceptability to my mother, but all necessary to my father's 
enterprises. The business had grown; it meant a clerk, bosses, 
workmen. In a pioneer community like ours it was hard to find 
comfortable living quarters for single men. My father and mother, 
both brought up on farms, accepted as a matter of course the 
housing and feeding of hired men. So it was in line with their 
experience as well as with the necessities of the case that our 
household was arranged to take care of a certain number of men 
connected with my father's business. For sleeping quarters a 
bunkhouse was built on the hillside ; mornings and evenings, they 
sat at the family table. This accepting men of whose manners and 
ways she often heartily disapproved was distasteful to my mother; 
but she had not been a schoolteacher for nothing, and she applied 
her notions of discipline. She would not have swearing, drinking, 
rough manners, and certainly she would not have had the Police 


Gazette in the house. But the men had it, and now and then when 
my brother and I played about the bunkhouse it was easy for me 
to pick up a copy and slip it away where my dearest girl friend 
and I looked unashamed and entirely unknowing on its rough 
and brutal pictures. If they were obscene we certainly never knew 
it. There was a wanton gaiety about the women, a violent rakish- 
ness about the men wicked, we supposed, but not the less inter- 
esting for that. 

One reason the Police Gazette fascinated me was that it pic- 
tured a kind of life I knew to be flourishing in a neighboring set- 
tlement, a settlement where my father had shops run by a boss 
who, as well as his sister, was a family friend, and where I was 
often allowed to visit. This settlement, Petroleum Center, had by 
something like general consent become Oil Creek's "sink of 

The discovery of oil, the growing certainty that it was the 
beginning of a new industry, that money was flowing into the Oil 
Region quickly brought an invading host of men and women 
seeking fortunes. It was a new and rich field for tricksters, 
swindlers, exploiters of vice in every known form. They were soon 
setting up shops in every settlement and, to the credit of the 
manhood of the Oil Region, usually being driven out by self- 
directed vigilantes. 

At Rouseville a "joy boat 55 which made its way up the Creek 
that first winter and tied up near my father's shop was cut loose 
in the middle of the night after its arrival. Its visitors found 
themselves floating down the Allegheny River the next morning 
and obliged to walk back. From that time open vice shunned the 
town. But when wealth poured out of the ground at Petroleum 
Center there was too great excitement to think of order, decency. 
Before it was realized, the town was alive with every known form 
of wantonness and wickedness. By the time I was allowed to visit 
our friends there, I saw from the corner of my eye as I walked 
sedately the length of the street saloons, dance halls, brothels ; and 


I noted many curious things. The house where I visited stood on a 
slope overlooking one of the most notorious dance halls of the 
Oil Region Gus Reil's. Often I left my bed at night and watched 
that long low building from which rose loud laughter, ribald 
songs, shouts, curses. Later horror was added to Gus ReiPs fas- 
cination, for here a Rouseville boy was shot one night. 

If Petroleum Center was giving me an opportunity to feed my 
curiosity about things in the world of which I was not supposed 
to know, it happened also to be the indirect means of awaking 
my interest in the stars, one of the most beautiful interests of my 
youth. My father had seen the early passing of the wooden oil 
tank, the coming of the iron tank, and had used his capital to 
become an oil producer. One of his first investments had been in 
an oil farm on the hills above the wicked town which so excited 
my curiosity. His partner in this venture, M. E. Hess, lived on 
this farm with his family. In that family was a daughter about 
my age knd bearing my name Ida. We became friends and 
visited back and forth as chance offered. My chance came often 
when Mr. Hess, riding with a companion over the hills to Rouse- 
ville to consult with father, dropped his companion and took me 
back with him, usually at night. A fine pair of saddle horses he 
had "High Fly" and "Shoo Fly." My first experience in horse- 
back riding was following him on "Shoo Fly" over the hills after 

Mr. Hess was an altogether unusual man, educated, with a 
vein of poetry in him. As we rode he would stop every now and 
then to name the stars, trace the constellations, repeat the leg- 
ends. My first consciousness of space, its beauty, its something 
more than beauty, came then. 

Not a bad counterbalance for what I was gathering in the 
town below the farm on the hill and seeing reproduced in the 
Police Gazette, which so perfectly pictured its activities. 

But there were other correcting forces at work on me. The men 
who formed the vigilante committee to make Rouseville difficult 


for commercialized vice (my father one of them) set themselves 
early to establishing civilizing agencies first a church. 

It was decided by the men and women who were to build and 
support this church that it should be of the denomination of 
which there were the largest number in the community. The 
Methodists had the numbers, and so my father and mother who 
were Presbyterians became and remained Methodists. Their sup- 
port was active. We did not merely go to church; we stayed 
to class meeting; we went to Sunday school, where both father 
and mother had classes ; we went to Wednesday night or was it 
Thursday night? prayer meeting. And when there was a revival 
we went every night. In my tenth or eleventh year I "went for- 
ward' 5 not from a sense of guilt but because everybody else was 
doing it. My sense of sin came after it was all over and I was 
tucked away in bed at night. I had been keenly conscious as I 
knelt at the Mourners' bench that the long crimson ribbons which 
hung from my hat must look beautiful on my cream-colored coat. 
The realization of that hypocrisy cut me to the heart. I knew 
myself a sinner then, and the relief I sought in prayer was gen- 
uine. I never confessed. It wasn't the kind of sin other converts 
talked about. But it aroused self -observation ; I learned that 
often when I was saying the polite or proper thing I was think- 
ing quite differently. For a long time it made me secretly 
unhappy thinking that in me alone ran an underground river of 
thought. Later I began to suspect that other people were like 
this, that always there flowed a stream of unspoken thought 
under the spoken thought. It made me wary of strangers. 

A side of my life which moves me deeply now, as I think back, 
was the continuous effort of my father and mother to give me 
what were called advantages, to use their increasing income to 
awaken and develop in me a taste for things which they had 
always been denied. They wanted music in the household and our 
grandest possession became a splendid Bradbury square piano 


a really noble instrument with one of the finest, mellowest tones 
that I have ever heard in a piano. 

A music teacher turned up in the community and I was at 
once set at five-finger exercises, and I was kept at them and all 
that follows them for many years; but I found no joy in what 
I was doing. It is possible that with different teachers from those 
available there might have been a spring touched, for untrained 
as I am I am not without a certain appreciation of music. 

I mastered the mechanics of piano playing well enough, how- 
ever, to become later one of the regular performers in the high 
school in the town to which we were to move Titusville, Pennsyl- 
vania. I remembered nothing of this until two of my old friends 
in Titusville, school chums, told me that I was one of the three 
or four who played the piano for the morning exercises, that I 
sometimes played my show pieces, and that on one occasion I was 
an actor in a scene which they recalled with glee* They told me 
I was playing a duet with a classmate. We either lost our place 
or did not agree as to time stopped entirely, argued the matter 
out, began over, and this time went through without dissension ; 
but I have only this secondhand memory of my contribution to 
the musical life of the Titusville High School. 

I remember the efforts of my father and mother to show me 
something of the outside world much more clearly than I do 
those to awaken my interest in books and music. There were little 
trips, once as far as Cleveland the whole family the marvel of 
the "best hotel," of new hats and coats and armfuls of toys. 
There were summers at the farm, only thirty miles away. Best 
remembered and most enjoyed were the all-day-excursion picnics. 
No one Can understand tKe social life of a great body of the 
American people in the latter part of the nineteenth century 
without understanding the hold the picnic had on them. The 
Tarbell household took the picnic so seriously that it had a spe- 
cial equipment of stout market baskets, tin cups and plates, steel 


knives and forks, tin spoons, worn napkins (the paper ones 
were then unheard of). The menus were as fixed as that for a 
Thanksgiving dinner : veal loaf, cold tongue, hard-boiled eggs 
"two apiece' 5 buttered rusks, spiced peaches, jelly, cucumber 
pickles, chowchoWj cookies, doughnuts (we called them fried 
cakes), and a special family cake. And you ate until you were 

Our grandest picnic excursions in those days were to Chautau- 
qua Lake, a charming sheet of water only some fifty miles from 
home. Near the head of the lake lay an old Chautauqua County 
town, Mayville ; at its foot, Jamestown where my father for sev- 
eral years had been a student in the Academy, and from which 
in vacations he had gone on his annual trips down the Ohio. 
Loaded with big baskets of lunch, we took an early train to May- 
ville, changed there to a little white steamer: zigzagged the 
length of the lake, twenty or so miles, stopping at point after 
point. We ate our lunch en route, and at Jamestown went uptown 
to drink a bottle of "pop." And then came the slow return home, 
where we arrived after dark exhausted by pleasure. 

Three or four miles from Mayville on the west side of the lake 
jutted a wooded promontory Fair Point the site in those days 
of a Methodist camp meeting; and here we sometimes stopped 
for the day. We never liked it so well as going to Jamestown; 
neither did father. 


FIVE years went by in the house on the hill, and then in 1870 
when I was thirteen I found myself in Titusville, Pennsylvania, 
in a new house my father had built. How characteristic of the 
instability of the oil towns of that day, as well as of the frugality 
of my father, was this house ! From the beginning* of the Pithole 
excitement he had, as I have said, made money more than he 
could ever have dreamed, I fancy; and then about 1869 prac- 
tically without warning the bottom fell out, as the vernacular of 
the region put it. The end shut up my father's shops there, but 
it also gave us the makings of a home. In that rapid develop- 
ment, only four years long, a town of some twenty thousand had 
grown up with several big hotels among them, one called the 
Bonta House. It had features which delighted my father long 
French windows, really fine iron brackets supporting its veran- 
dahs, handsome woodwork. The Bonta House was said to have 
cost $60,000, but its owners were glad to take the $600 father 
offered when the town "blew up." He paid the money, tore down 
the building, loaded its iron brackets and fine doors and windows, 
mouldings and all, and I suppose much of its timber, onto 
wagons and carted it ten miles away to Titusville where, out of it, 
he built the house which was our home for many years. 

Titusville was not like Rouseville, which had suddenly sprung 
from the mud as uncertain as a mushroom of the future. It had 
been a substantial settlement twenty years before oil was found 
there, small but sturdy with a few families who had made money 
chiefly in lumber, owning good homes, carefully guarding the 
order and decency of the place. 

The discovery of oil overran the settlement with hundreds of 


fortune seekers. They came from far and near, on foot, horse- 
back, wagon. The nearest railroad connection was sixteen miles 
away, and the roads and fields leading in were soon cut beyond 
recognition by the heavy hauling, its streets at times impassable 
with mud. 

The new industry demanded machinery, tools, lumber and 
the bigger it grew, the greater the demand. Titusville, the birth- 
place of all this activity, as well as the gateway down the Creek, 
must furnish food and shelter for caravans of strangers, shops 
for their trades, offices for speculators and brokers, dealers in oil 
lands and leases, for oil producers, surveyors, and draftsmen all 
the factors of the big business organization necessary to develop 
the industry. In 1862 the overflow was doubled by the arrival of 
a railroad with a connection sixteen miles away with the East 
and West. The disbanding of the Army in June of 1865 brought 
a new rush men still in uniform, their rifles and knapsacks on 
their backs. Most of this fresh inflow was bound to the scene of 
the latest excitement, Pithole. 

Stampeded though she was, Titusville refused to give up her 
idea of what a town should be. She kept a kind of order, waged 
a steady fight on pickpockets, drunkards, wantons; and in this 
she was backed by the growing number of men and women who, 
having found their chance for fortune in oil, wanted a town fit 
for their families. After churches, the schools were receiving the 
most attention. It was the Titusville schools which had deter- 
mined my father and mother to make the town their permanent 

But school did not play a serious part in my scheme of things 
&t the start. I went because I was sent, and had no interest in 
what went on. I was thirteen, but I had never been in a crowded 
room before. In a small private school the teacher had been my 
friend. Here I was not conscious my teacher recognized my exist- 
ence. I soon became a truant; but the competent ruler of that 
schoolroom knew more than I realized. She was able to spot a 


truant, and one day when I turned up after an unexplainable 
absence she suddenly turned on me and read me a scathing lec- 
ture. I cannot remember that I was ashamed or humiliated, only 
amazed, but something in me asserted itself. I suppose that here 
a decent respect for the opinions of mankind was born ; at least 
I became on the instant a model pupil. 

A few months later I passed into high school ; and when at the 
end of the year the grades were averaged at a ceremony where 
everybody was present I stood at the head of the honor roll. 
Nobody could have been more surprised. I had not been working 
for the honor roll: I had simply been doing what they expected 
me to do as I understood it, and here I was at the top. I remember 
I felt very serious about it. Having made the top once, I knew 
what would be expected of me. I couldn't let my father and 
mother or my teachers down, so I continued to learn my lessons. 
It was a good deal like being good at a game. I liked to work out 
the mathematics and translations good puzzles, but that they 
had any relation to my life I was unconscious. And then sud- 
denly, among these puzzles I was set to solve, I found in certain 
textbooks the sesame which was to free my curiosity, stir desires 
to know, set me working on my own to find out more than these 
books had to offer. The texts which did all this for me were a 
series I suspect a modern teacher might laugh at Steele's Four- 
teen Weeks in Zoology, Geology, Botany, Natural Philosophy, 

Here I was suddenly on a ground which meant something to 
me. From childhood, plants, insects, stones were what I saw when 
I went abroad, what I brought home to press, to put into bottles, 
to "litter up the house." The hills about Rouseville were rich in 
treasures for such a collector, but nobody had ever taught me 
more than their common names. I had never realized that they 
were subjects for study, like Latin and geometry and rhetoric 
and other such unmeaning tasks. They were too fascinating. But 
here my pleasure became my duty. School suddenly became excit- 


ing. Now I could justify my tramps before breakfast on the hills, 
justify my "collections," and soon I knew what I was to be a 
scientist. Life was beginning to be very good, for what I liked 
best to do had a reason. No doubt this uplift was helped by the 
general cheerfulness of the family under our new conditions of 

Things were going well in father's business; there was ease 
such as we had never known, luxuries we had never heard of. 
Our first Christmas in the new home was celebrated lavishly. Far 
away was that first Christmas in the shanty on the flats when 
there was nothing but nuts and candy and my mother and father 
promising, "Just wait, just wait, the day will come." The day 
had come a gorgeous Christmas tree, a velvet cloak, and a fur 
coat for my mother. I haven't the least idea what there was for 
the rest of us, but those coats were an epoch in my life my first 
notion of elegance. 

This family blossoming was characteristic of the town. Titus- 
ville was gay, confident of its future. It was spending money on 
schools and churches, was building an Opera House where Janau- 
schek soon was to play, Christine Nilsson to sing. More and 
more fine homes were going up. Its main street had been graded 
and worked until fine afternoons, winter and summer, it was 
cleared by four o'clock for the trotting of the fast horses the rich 
were importing. When New Year's Day came every woman re- 
ceived wine, cakes, salads, cold meats on the table every man 
went calling. That is, Titusville was taking on metropolitan airs, 
led by a few citizens who knew New York and its ways, even 
spoke familiarly of Jay Gould and Jim Fisk, both of whom 
naturally enough had their eye on us. Did not the Erie road 
from which they at the moment were filling their pockets regard 
oil as one of its most profitable freights? We were grain for 
their mill. 

There was reason for confidence. In the dozen years since the 
first well was drilled the Oil Creek Valley had yielded nearly 


thirty-three million barrels of crude oil. Producing, transporting, 
refining, marketing, exporting, and by-products had been devel- 
oped into an organized industry which was now believed to have 
a splendid future. 

Then suddenly this gay, prosperous town received a blow 
between the eyes. Self-dependent in all but transportation and 
locally in that through the pipe lines it was rapidly laying to 
shipping points, it was dependent on the railroads for the carry- 
ing of its crude oil to outside refining points and for a shipping 
of both crude and refined to the seaboard a rich and steady 
traffic for which the Oil Region felt the railroads ought to be 
grateful; but it was the railroads that struck the blow. A few 
refiners outside the region Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia 
concocted a marvelous scheme which they had the persuasive 
power to put over with the railroads, a big scheme by which those 
in the ring would be able to ship crude and refined oil more 
cheaply than anybody outside. And then, marvelous invention, 
they would receive in addition to their advantage a drawback on 
every barrel of oil shipped by any one not in the group. Those 
in the South Improvement Company, as the masterpiece was 
called, were to be rewarded for shipping ; and those not in, to be 
doubly penalized. Of course it was a secret scheme. The Oil 
Region did not learn of it until it had actually been put into 
operation in Cleveland, Ohio, and leaked out. What did it mean 
to the Oil Region? It meant that the man who produced the oil, 
and all outside refiners, were entirely at the mercy of this group 
who, if they would, could make the price of crude oil as well as 
refined. But it was a plan which could not survive daylight. As 
soon as the Oil Region learned of it a wonderful row followed. 
There were nightly antimonopoly meetings, violent speeches, 
processions ; trains of oil cars loaded for members of the off end- 
ing corporation were raided, the oil run on the ground, their 
buyers turned out of the oil exchanges ; appeals were made to the 
state legislature, to Congress for an interstate commerce bill, 


producers and refiners uniting for protection. I remember a night 
when my father came home with a grim look on his face and told 
how he with scores of other producers had signed a pledge not to 
sell to the Cleveland ogre that alone had profited from the scheme 
a new name, that of the Standard Oil Company, replacing the 
name South Improvement Company in popular contempt. 

There were long days of excitement. Father coming home at 
night, silent and stern, a sternness even unchanged by his after- 
dinner cigar 5 which had come to stand in my mind as the sign of 
his relaxation after a hard day. He no longer told of the funny 
things he had seen and heard during the day; he no longer 
played his jew ? s-harp, nor sang to my little sister on the arm of 
his chair the verses we had all been brought up on : 

Augusta, Maine, on the Kennebec River, 
Concord, New Hampshire, on the M errimack, etc. 

The commotion spread. The leaders of the New York Petro- 
leum Association left out of the original conspiracy, and in a 
number of cases (as was soon to be shown) outraged chiefly for 
that reason, sent a committee to the Oil Region to see what was 
doing. The committee was joyfully welcomed, partly because its 
chairman was well known to them all. It was my Rouseville neigh- 
bor, Henry H. Rogers. 

Mr. Rogers had left the Creek in 1867 and become a partner 
in the Pratt firm of refiners and exporters of Brooklyn, New 
York. He and his associates saw as clearly as his old friends in 
the Oil Region that let the South Improvement Company suc- 
ceed in its plan for a monopoly everybody not in the ring 
would be forced to go out of business. The New York men seem 
to have been convinced that the plans for saving themselves 
which the organized producers and refiners were laying stood a 
good chance of success, for back in New York Mr. Rogers gave 
a long interview to the Herald. He did not mince words. Cleve- 
land and Pittsburgh were "straining every nerve to create a 


monopoly. 35 They would succeed if their control of the railroads 
continued. He and his fellows felt as the men in the Oil Region 
did, that the breaking up of the South Improvement Company 
was a "necessity for self -existence. 95 They were as bold in action 
as in words, for when a little later the president of the Standard 
Oil Company of Cleveland, John D. Rockefeller (to date, the 
only beneficiary of the South Improvement Company), sought 
an interview in New York with Mr. Rogers and his committee he 
was treated cavalierly and according to the newspapers retreated 
after a brief reception "looking badly crestfallen. 55 

Thus was the Henry TL Rogers of 1872. 

Out of the long struggle begun as a scrimmage came finally 
a well developed cooperative movement guaranteeing fair play 
all around. It was signed by the Standard Oil Company 5 s repre- 
sentative and all the oil-carrying railroads. The railroads indeed 
were the first to succumb, knowing as they did that what they 
were doing was contrary to the common law of the land, and 
being thundered at as they were by the press and politicians of 
all the country. "I told Willie not to go into that scheme, 55 said 
old Commodore Vanderbilt; and Jay Gould whined, "I didn 5 t 
sign until everybody else had. 55 

Out of the alarm and bitterness and confusion, I gathered 
from my f ather 5 s talk a conviction to which I still hold that 
what had been undertaken was wrong. My father told me it was 
as if somebody had tried to crowd me off the road. Now I knew 
very well that, on this road where our little white horse trotted 
up and down, we had our side, there were rules, you couldn 5 t use 
the road unless you obeyed those rules, it was not only bad man- 
ners but dangerous to attempt to disobey them. The railroads 
so said my father ran through the valley by the consent of the 
people ; they had given them a right of way. The road on which 
I trotted was a right of way. One man had the same right as 
another, but the railroads had given to one something they would 
not give to another. It was wrong. I sometimes hear learned peo- 


pie arguing that in the days of this historic quarrel everybody 
took rebates, it was the accepted way. If they had lived in the Oil 
Region through those days in 1872, they would have realized 
that, far from being accepted, it was fought tooth and nail. 
Everybody did not do it. In the nature of the offense everybody 
could not do it. The strong wrested from the railroads the privi- 
lege of preying upon the weak, and the railroads never dared 
give the privilege save under promise of secrecy. 

In walking through the world there is a choice for a man to 
make. He can choose the fair and open path, the path which 
sound ethics, sound democracy, and the common law prescribe, 
or choose the secret way by which he can get the better of his 
fellow man. It was that choice made by powerful men that sud- 
denly confronted the Oil Region. The sly, secret, greedy way 
won in the end, and bitterness and unhappiness and incalculable 
ethical deterioration for the country at large came out of that 
struggle and others like it which were going on all over the coun- 
try an old struggle with old defeats but never without men 
willing to make stiff fights for their rights, even if it cost them 
all they ever hoped to possess. 

At all events, uncomprehending as I was in that fine fight, 
there was born in me a hatred of privilege privilege of any sort. 
It was all pretty hazy to be sure, but still it was well, at fifteen, 
to have one definite plank based on things seen and heard, ready 
for a future platform of social and economic justice if I should 
ever awake to my need of one. At the moment, however, my reflec- 
tion did not carry me beyond the wrongness of the privilege 
which had so upset our world, contradicting as it did the prin- 
ciple of consideration for others which had always been basic in 
our family and religious teaching. I could not think further in 
this direction, for now my whole mind was absorbed by the over- 
whelming discovery that the world was not made in six days of 
twenty-four hours each. 

My interest in science, which meant for me simply larger 


familiarity with plants and animals and rocks, had set me look- 
ing over my father's books. Among them I found Hugh Miller's 
"Testimony of the Rocks," and sat down to read it. Gradually 
I grasped with a combination of horror and amazement that, 
instead of a creation, the earth was a growth that the creative 
days I had so clearly visualized were periods, eons long, not to be 
visualized. It was all too clear to deny, backed as it was by a 
wealth of geological facts. If this were true, why did the Bible 
describe so particularly the work of each day, describe it and 
declare, "And the evening and the morning were the first day, 5 ' 
etc., and end, "and he rested on the seventh day"? Hugh Miller 
labored to prove that there was no necessary contradiction be- 
tween Genesis and Geology. But I was too startled to accept what 
he said. A Bible that needed reconciling, that did not mean what 
it said, was not the rock I had supposed my feet were on ; that 
words could have other meaning than that I had always given 
them, I had not yet grasped. 

I was soon to find that the biblical day was disturbing a great 
part of the Christian world, was a chief point of controversy in 
the church. I had hardly made my discovery when Genesis and 
Geology appeared in the pulpit of the Methodist Church of 
Titusville, Pennsylvania. Filling this pulpit at that time was a 
remarkable and brilliant man, Amos Norton Craft. Dr. Craft 
was an indefatigable student. It was told of him to the wonder 
of the church that he laid aside yearly $200 of his meager salary 
to buy books. Like all the ministers of those days, he was obliged 
to face the challenges of science. Many of his fellows most of 
thenij so far as my knowledge went took refuge in heated decla- 
rations that the conclusions that science was making were pro- 
fane, godless, an affront to divinity. Not so Dr. Craft. He ac- 
cepted them, strove to fit them into the Christian system. He 
startled his congregation and interested the town profoundly by 
announcing an evening course of lectures on the reconciliation 
of Genesis and Geology. The first of the series dealt with the 

universe. I had never known there was one. The stars, yes. I could 
name planets and constellations and liked nothing better than to 
lie on my back and watch them ; but a universe with figures of its 
size was staggering. I went away from those Sunday night lec- 
tures fascinated, horror-stricken, confused a most miserable 
child, for not only was my idea of the world shattered, not only 
was I left dizzily gyrating in a space to which there was no end, 
but the whole Christian system I had been taught was falling in 
a general ruin. I began to feel that I ought to leave the church. 
I did not believe what I was supposed to believe. I did not have 
the consolation of pride in emancipation which I find youth fre- 
quently has when it finds itself obliged to desert the views it has 
been taught. Indeed, I doubted greatly whether it was an eman- 
cipation. What troubled me most was that if I gave up the church 
I had nothing to put in place of something it had given me which 
seemed to me of supreme importance ; summed up, that something 
was in the commandment, "Do as you would be done by." Cer- 
tainly nothing which Hugh Miller or Herbert Spencer, whom 
I began to read in 1872 in the Popular Science Monthly y helped 
me here. They gave me nothing to take the place of what had 
always been the unwritten law of the Tarbell household, based 
as I knew upon the teachings of the Bible. The gist of the Bible, 
as it had come to me, was what I later came to call the brother- 
hood of man. Practically it was that we should do nothing, say 
nothing, that injured another. That was a catastrophe, and when 
it happened in our household an inarticulate household on the 
whole, though one extraordinarily conscious of the minds and 
hearts of one another when it happened the whole household 
was shadowed for hours and it was not until by sensitive unspoken 
efforts the injured one had been consoled, that we went on about 
our usual ways. 

This was something too precious to give up, and something for 
which I did not find a substitute in the scientific thinking and 
arguing in which I was floundering. The scientists offered me 


nothing to guide me in human relations., and they did not satisfy 
a craving from which I could not escape; that was the need of 
direction, the need of that which I called God and which I still 
call God. Perhaps I was a calculating person, a cautious one. At 
all events I made up my mind to wait and find out something 
which better took the place of those things which I so valued. It 
cost me curious little compromises, compromises that I had to 
argue myself into. The chief came in repeating the creed. 

I could repeat, "conceived of the Holy Ghost, born of the Vir- 
gin Mary," because for many years I did not know what that 
meant. It w T as the resurrection that disturbed me. I could not 
accept it, nor could I accept the promise of personal immortality. 
That had become a grave doubt with me when I first grew dizzy 
with the consciousness of the vastness of the universe. Why should 
I expect to exist forever as a conscious mind in that vast empti- 
ness? What would become of me? I did not want to think about 
it, and I came then to a conviction that has never left me : that 
as far as I am concerned immortality is not my business, that 
there is too much for me to attend to in this mortal life without 
overspeculation on the immortal, that it is not necessary to my 
peace of mind or to my effort to be a decent and useful person, 
to have a definite assurance about the affairs of the next world. 
I say this with humility, for I believe that some such assurance 
is necessary to the peace and usefulness of many persons, and I 
am the last to scoff at the revelations they claim. 

And yet it was hard to give up heaven. Among the books on 
our shelves many of them orthodox religious books was one 
that had a frontispiece which I had accepted as a definite picture 
of the heaven to which I was to go. Jehovah sat on a throne, 
cherubim and seraphim around him, rank upon rank of angels 
filling the great amphitheater below. I always wondered where 
my place would be, and whether there would be any chance to 
work up in heaven as there seemed to be on earth, to become a 


But giving up this heaven was by no means the greatest trag- 
edy in my discovery that the world was not made in six days of 
twenty-four hours each. The real tragedy was the birth in me of 
doubt and uncertainty. Nothing was ever again to be final. Al- 
ways I was to ask myself when confronted with a problem, a 
system, a scheme, a code, a leader, "How can I accept without 
knowing more?" The quest of the truth had been born in me 
the most tragic and incomplete, as well as the most essential, of 
man's quests. 

It was while groping my way, frightened like a lost child, I 
found a word to hold to evolution. Things grew. What did they 
grow from? They all started somewhere. I was soon applying the 
idea. Nothing seemed to matter now, except to find the starting 
point of things and, having that, see why and how they grew 
into something else. How were you to go to work to find the start 
of life? With a microscope. And I soon was in the heat of my 
first intellectual passion,, my first and greatest that for the 
microscope. With a microscope I could perhaps get an answer 
to my mystification about the beginning of life, where it started ; 
and then, I believed, I should find God again. 

I was a practical person apparently, for I at once began to 
save my money and soon had enough to put into a small instru- 
ment. The house in Titusville, like many of its period, had a 
tower room, a steep staircase running up to it. This room was 
surrounded on three sides with big double windows. I begged to 
have it for my own. Here I was allowed to set up shop ; here I 
had my desk, my papers, and my microscope; here I was alone 
with my problems. That little microscope had a good deal to do 
with my determination to go to college. If I was to become a 
microscopist I had already adopted that word I must study, 
get an education. 

This determination of mine to get an education, go to college, 
was chiefly due, no doubt, to the active crusade going on in those 
days for what we called woman's rights. Ours was a yeasty time, 


the ferment reaching into every relation of life, attacking and 
remodeling every tradition, every philosophy. As my father was 
hard hit by the attack on his conception of individualism in a 
democracy freedom with strictest consideration for the rights 
and needs of others as I was struggling with all the handicaps 
of my ignorance, with the nature of life, a search for God, so my 
mother was facing a little reluctantly a readjustment of her 
status in the home and in society. She had grown up with the 
Woman's Rights movement. Had she never married, I feel sure 
she would have sought to "vindicate her sex" by seeking a higher 
education, possibly a profession. The fight would have delighted 
her. If she had gone to Iowa she surely would have soon joined 
the agitation led there in the late fifties by Amelia Bloomer, the 
inventor of the practical and ugly costume which still carries her 
name, the real founder of dress reform. We owe it to Amelia 
Bloomer that we can without public ridicule wear short skirts and 
stout boots, be as sensible as our feminine natures permit which 
is not saying much for us when it comes to fashions. But my 
mother found herself a pioneer in the Oil Region, confronted by 
the sternest of problems which were to be settled only by imme- 
diate individual effort and good will. 

The move to Titusville, however, soon put my mother in touch 
with the crusade for equal political rights which was taking the 
place of the earlier movement for woman's rights. The Civil War 
had slowed up that agitation; indeed, many of its best talking 
points had been conceded and were slowly going into practice. 
Most of the militants had thrown themselves into war work and, 
after the war, into the campaign for negro suffrage; but the 
passing of the Fourteenth Amendment in 1868, for the first time 
introducing the word "male" into the Constitution, aroused a 
sense of outrage, not only in the advocates of equal rights but in 
many women who had not approved of previous agitations. 
Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, the greatest of 
the early leaders, failing to keep the humiliating distinction out 

of the Amendment, began a tremendous national crusade for 
woman's suffrage. They marshaled a group of splendid women 
and undertook an intensive campaign meant to reach every woman 
in the country. It reached us in Titusville, even reached our home 
where my father and mother, always hospitable to crusaders, 
opened their doors to them. I remember best Mary Livermore 
and Frances Willard not that either touched me, saw me; of 
this neglect I was acutely conscious. I noted, too, that the men 
we entertained did notice me, talked to me as a person not 
merely as a possible member of a society they were promoting. 
There was Neal Dow father by this time was a prohibitionist 
who let me show him our Dante with Gustave Dore's pictures. 
Men were nicer than women to me, I mentally noted. 

As the struggle for equal rights grew in heat 1 became aware 
that it was far from a united struggle, that as a matter of fact 
leaders and followers were spending almost as much time disap- 
proving of one another's methods as fighting for their cause. The 
friction came largely from the propensity of Mrs. Stanton and 
Miss Anthony to form alliances shocking to many of their oldest 
and wisest friends. Before the war they had, rather recklessly 
from a political point of view, supported easier divorce. As one 
of their friends wrote them, they had in so doing broken the heart 
of the portly Evening Post and nearly driven the Tribune to the 
grave. Time had not cooled their ardor for strange bedfellows. 
They made an alliance now of which I heard no little talk by my 
mother and her friends ; it was with the two most notorious women 
in the eye of the public at the moment. "Hussies," conservative 
circles in Titusville, Pennsylvania, called them Victoria Wood- 
hull and Tennessee Claflin. 

It was not difficult for even a girl of fifteen to pick up some 
idea of what these women were, so well did they advertise them- 
selves, and so delightedly did the press back them up in their 
doings. Beginning their careers as clairvoyants, they had devel- 
oped professionally their undoubted powers until they were in 


the sixties the two best known arid best paid trance-physicians 
of their day. Victoria claimed to have raised a child from the 
dead, and Tennessee, the harder worker of the two, made enough 
money to keep thirty-five relations in comfort. "If I am a hum- 
bug sometimes, look at the dead beats I have to support," was 
her answer to those who accused her of abusing her talents. Both 
women frankly advocated free love, and so it was believed quite 
as frankly practiced it. 

With this equipment they entered Wall Street in the eighteen- 
sixties as consultants. The "lady brokers," they were called. 
They quickly built up a profitable business. Old Commodore 
Vanderbilt was so tickled by their combination of beauty and 
effrontery, talents and ambitions, that he is said to have pro- 
posed marriage to Victoria. He was more valuable as a friend. 
She kept his picture on the wall of the salon where she received 
her clients, and under it the framed motto, "Simply to thy cross 
I cling." 

In 1870 Victoria Woodhull announced herself as a candidate 
for President in 1872. So successful was she in attracting and 
holding big audiences, and so brilliantly did she present the argu- 
ments for equal rights, that Mrs. Stanton and Miss Anthony 
threw scruples to the wind and took her into their camp from 
which promptly there was a considerable exodus of scandalized 
ladies. Not only did Victoria win the countenance of these two 
great leaders, but she involved them in the Beecher-Tilton scan- 
dal, which for months she worked steadily to force before the 

The reverberations of the conflict inside the suffrage party, 
together with what I picked up about the Beecher trial (I read 
the testimony word by word in our newspapers), did not increase 
my regard for my sex. They did not seem to substantiate what 
I heard about the subjection of women, nor did what I observed 
nearer home convince me. Subjection seemed to me fairly divided. 
That is all : I saw there were "henpecked men," as well as "down- 


trodden women. 55 The chief unfairness which I recognized was in 
the handling of household expenses. Women who must do the 
spending were obliged to ask for money or depend on charging. 
My mother had not been trained to live on as generous a scale as 
was now possible, but my father never said, "We have so much 
and no more to spend." They worked often at cross purposes. So 
I gathered as I listened to intimate talks between women, listened 
to suffrage speakers, read the literature ; so did many American 
husbands and wives. I felt no restraint myself, for I always had 
at least a little money and I, too, could charge. This foolish prac- 
tice led me into funny expenditures. 

I had no sense of the appropriate in clothes. Often I had an 
ardent desire for something fitted only for grown-ups, and I 
always had a keen ambition to fit myself out for occasions. Some 
time in the early seventies Clara Louise Kellogg came to town. 
My father and mother were in the West, but they had arranged 
that I was to hear her. It seemed as if some kind of regalia was 
necessary, so I charged a wide pink sash and a pair of yellow kid 

Out of the agitation for rights as it came to me, two rights 
that were worth going after quite definitely segregated them- 
selves : the right to an education, and the right to earn my living 
education and economic independence. 

The older I grew, the more determined I became to be inde- 
pendent. I saw only one way teach ; but if I was to teach I must 
fit myself, go to college. My father and mother agreed. I had a 
clear notion of what I wanted to teach natural science, particu- 
larly the microscope, for I was to be a biologist. I made my 
choice Cornell, first opened to women in 1872 ; but at the mo- 
ment when the steps to enter Cornell were to be taken, there 
appeared in the household as an over-Sunday guest the president 
of a small college in our neighborhood, only thirty miles away, 
Allegheny. Among the patrons of that college was the Methodist 
organization known as the Erie Conference, to which the Titus- 


ville church belonged. I had heard of it annually when a repre- 
sentative appeared in our pulpit, told its story and asked for 
support. The president. Dr. Lucius Bugbee, was a delightful and 
entertaining guest and, learning that I was headed Cornellward, 
adroitly painted the advantages of Allegheny. It was near home ; 
it was a ward of our church. It had responded to the cry of 
women for educational opportunity and had opened its doors 
before the institution I had chosen. 

Was not here an opportunity for a serious young woman inter- 
ested in the advancement of her sex? Had I not a responsibility 
in the matter? If the few colleges that had opened their doors 
were to keep them open, if others were to imitate their example, 
two things were essential : women must prove they wanted a col- 
lege education by supporting those in their vicinity; and they 
must prove by their scholarship what many doubted that they 
had minds as capable of development as young men. Allegheny 
had not a large territory to draw from. I must be a pioneer. 

As a matter of fact the only responsibility I had felt and 
assumed in going to college was entirely selfish and personal. But 
the sense of responsibility was not lacking nor dormant in me. 
It was one of the few things I had found out about myself in the 
shanty on the flats when I was six years old and there was a new 
baby in the family. 

The woman looking after my mother had said, "Now you are 
old enough to make a cup of tea and take it to her." I think, in 
all my life since, nothing has seemed more important, more won- 
derful to me than this being called upon by an elder to do some- 
thing for mother, be responsible for it. I can feel that cup in my 
hand as I cautiously took it to the bed, and can see my mother's 
touching smile as she thanked me. Perhaps there came to her a 
realization that this rebelling, experimenting child might one 
day become a partner in the struggle for life so serious for her 
at the moment, always to be more or less serious. 

But to return to Dr. Bugbee and his argument; before he left 


the house I had agreed to enter Allegheny in the fall of 1876. 
And that I did. 

What did I take with me? Well, I took what from my earliest 
years I had been told was necessary to everyone a Purpose, 
always spelled with a capital. I had an outline of the route which 
would lead to its realization. Making outlines of what was in my 
mind was the one and only fruit that I had gathered so far from 
long terms of struggle over grammar, rhetoric, composition. 
Outlines which held together, I had discovered, cleared my mind, 
gave it something to follow. I outlined all my plans as I had 
diagramed sentences. It was not a poor beginning for one who 
eventually, and by accident rather than by intention, was to earn 
her living by writing the core of which must be sound structure. 

One thing by choice left out of the plan I carried from high 
school was marriage. I would never marry. It would interfere 
with my plan; it would fetter my freedom. I didn't quite know 
what Freedom meant; certainly I was far from realizing that it 
exists only in the spirit, never in human relations, never in human 
activities that the road to it is as often as not what men call 
bondage. But above all I must be free ; and to be free I must be 
a spinster. When I was fourteen I was praying God on my knees 
to keep me from marriage. I suspect that it was only an echo of 
the strident feminine cry filling the air at that moment, the cry 
that woman was a slave in a man-made world. By the time I was 
ready to go to college I had changed my prayer for freedom to 
a will to freedom. Such was the baggage I carried to college, 
where I was soon to find several things I had not counted on. 


WHEN I entered Allegheny College in the fall of 1876 I made 
my first contact with the past. I had been born and reared a 
pioneer; I knew only the beginning of things, the making of a 
home in a wilderness, the making of an industry from the ground 
up. I had seen the hardships of beginnings, the joy of realiza- 
tion, the attacks that success must expect; but of things with a 
past, things that had made themselves permanent, I knew nothing. 
It struck me full in the face now, for this was an old college as 
things west of the Alleghenies were reckoned an old college in 
an old town. Here was history, and I had never met it before 
to recognize it. 

The town lay in the valley of a tributary of the Allegheny 
River French Creek. Its oldest tradition after the tales of 
Indians was that George Washington once drank from a spring 
on the edge of the campus. Certainly he passed that way in 1753 
when he came up the river valley from Fort Duquesne (Pitts- 
burgh) , following the route which led to Fort Le Boeuf near Lake 
Erie. He comments in his diary, published the year after his trip, 
on the extensive rich meadows through which he had passed, 
one of which "I believe was nearly four miles in length and con- 
siderable wider in some places." To this particular "rich mead- 
ow" a few years later came one David Mead and laid out a 
town and sold land. Here soon after came the representative of 
the Holland Land Company, colonizers of first quality. Good 
men came, distinguished names in Pennsylvania's history, and 
they wanted a college. The answer to their wish came in 1815 
when one of the most scholarly men of that day, Timothy Alden 



of Massachusetts, heard their call and, picking up all his worldly 
possessions, made the two months' trip by coach and boat to 
the settlement called Meadville. 

Timothy Alden, like many of his fellows, was fired by a deep 
belief that through Christian democracy alone could men arrive 
at the better world towards which he, scholar that he was, knew 
they had been groping from their earliest beginnings. But men 
could only come to an understanding of their individual and 
collective responsibilities to democracy through education. There- 
fore, as men spread westward he and others like him must fol- 
low them with education. 

But once in Meadville how little he found with which to 
carry out his project a log courthouse for a schoolhouse, and 
little or no money, though of what they had men gave freely. 
Now Timothy Alden knew that throughout the East were men 
of scholarly traditions convinced as was he that democracy 
would work only if men were trained to understanding and sacri- 
fice. He believed that they would help his Western venture. In 
1816 he went East to find out. He was not wrong in thinking 
there would be sympathy for the young college. Out of their 
meager store men gave this one, fifty cents ; that one, five dol- 
lars; few, more and men gave books, one, two, five. The list 
of donors now in the college archives shows many of the best 
known names of the day Lowell, Adams, Tucker, Parkman, 
Channing in Boston and twenty-nine fine New York names. 
Friends were made for Allegheny in every town and city where 
its brave story was told. Timothy Alden came back with $361 
in money and with books, more needed than money, estimated 
to be worth $1,642.26. 

From that time he kept the undertaking steadily before the 
East, promoted it by every method known to the times. A great 
response to his passionate effort came in 1819 when the college 
world of the East was shocked by learning that William Bentley 
of Salem, Massachusetts, had left his famous collection of "clas- 


sical and theological books, dictionaries, lexicons and Bibles" 
to a college in the wilderness of northwestern Pennsylvania, a 
college without a home, still doing its work in a log courthouse. 
That gift, long a bitter drop in the cup of Harvard, it is said, 
made a home of its own necessity for Allegheny, and in 1820 the 
corner stone of Bentley Hall, named for the donor, was laid. 
It took many years to complete it; but, when done on the lines 
Timothy Alden had himself laid down, it was one of the most 
beautiful buildings in the country. Today it easily stands after 
Independence Hall as the most perfect piece of Colonial archi- 
tecture in the state of Pennsylvania. For me Bentley Hall was 
an extraordinary experience. It was the first really beautiful 
building I had seen, a revelation, something I had never 
dreamed of. 

Fifty-six years had passed since the corner stone of Bentley 
Hall was laid, and not one of them without disappointments 
and sacrifices. More than once it had seemed as if the brave at- 
tempt must fail. Two buildings only had been added in these 
years: Culver Hall, a frame boarding house for men; Ruter 
Hall, a grim uncompromising three-story rectangular brick 
structure, fifty by ninety feet in size, a perfect reflection of the 
straitened period to which it belonged. The "Factory" was our 
slighting name for Ruter Hall, but in this stern structure I was 
to find a second deep satisfaction the library; in a room on 
the top floor, ninety feet long and at least sixteen in height was 
housed not only the splendid Bentley collection, but one even 
more valuable, that of Judge James Winthrop of Cambridge, 
Massachusetts, rare volumes from the great presses of Europe, 
three tons of books brought overland in wagons by Boston team- 
sters in 1822. They lined the great unbroken inside wall, as well 
as every space between openings. From the window seats one 
looked out on the town in the valley, its roofs and towers half 
hidden by a wealth of trees, and beyond to a circle of round- 
breasted hills. Before I left Allegheny I had found a very pre- 


cious thing in that severe room the companionship there is in 
the silent presence of books. 

Allegheny did not of course admit women at the start; but 
the ferment caused by the passing of the Fourteenth Amendment 
making it clear that only men were to be regarded as citizens 
stirred the Allegheny constituents mightily. Its chief patron, 
as I have said, was the Methodist Church. Now the Methodist 
Church was a militant reformer. The greatest of its bishops, 
Matthew Simpson, had backed Mrs. Stanton and Miss Anthony 
and their colleagues at every step. Leaders among Methodist 
women had been abolitionists, aggressive temperance advocates, 
and now they became militant suff ragists. Their influence began 
to tell. In 1870, with misgivings in not a few minds the admis- 
sion of women was voted. This was the same year that the Uni- 
versity of Michigan opened its doors to women, and two years 
before Cornell. In the six years before I entered ten women had 
graduated. When I came there were but two seniors, two juniors, 
no sophomores. I was a lone freshman in a class of forty hostile 
or indifferent boys. The friendly and facetious professor charged 
with the care of the "young ladies" put it that I was "Lost in 
the Wilderness of Boy." 

From the first I was dimly conscious that I was an invader, 
that there was abroad a spirit of masculinity challenging my 
right to be there, and there were taboos not to be disregarded. 
My first experience was that of which Virginia Woolf speaks so 
bitterly in "A Room of One's Own" the closing of the college 
green to her at Oxbridge. Nearly fifty years before her book 
was written I was having at Allegheny the same experience. 

The sloping green of the campus below Bentley Hall was in- 
viting. Between classes I made my way one day to a seat under 
a tree only to hear a horrified call from the walk above, "Come 
back, come back quick." An imperative summons from an upper- 
class woman. "You mustn't go on that side of the walk, only men 
go there." 


It was not so simple to find a spot where you could go and 
be comfortable. If Bentley Hall, where all the classes were held, 
was a beautiful piece of architecture, its interior could hardly 
have been more severe. The rooms were heated with potbellied 
cast-iron stoves, seated with the hardest wooden chairs, lighted 
by kerosene lamps. In winter (and the winters were long) the 
snow tracked in kept the floors wet and cold. Often one wore a 
muffler in chapel. But of all that I was unheeding. My pioneer 
childhood served me well. Moreover, I realized at the start that I 
had found what I had come to college for, direction in the only 
field in which I was interested science. I found it in a way that 
I doubt if Cornell could have given me at the moment, shy and 
immature as I was : the warming and contagious enthusiasm of a 
great natural teacher, one who had an ardent passion for those 
things which had stirred me and a wide knowledge which he fed 
by constant study and travel Jeremiah Tingley, the head of 
Allegheny's department of natural science. 

Professor Tingley was then a man of fifty, sparkling, alive, 
informal. Three years before, he had been one of the fifty chosen 
from many hundred applicants to spend the summer with Louis 
Agassiz on the island of Penikese in Buzzards Bay. Agassiz had 
planned with enthusiasm for the Penikese Summer School, and 
for those privileged to enter who could understand and appre- 
ciate it was an unforgettable experience; certainly it was for 
Jeremiah Tingley. He carried there Agassiz's faith in observa- 
tion and classification, as well as his reverence for Nature and 
all her ways. For both men the material world was but the cover 
of the spirit. Professor Tingley would quote Agassiz sometimes : 
"Nature always brings us back to absolute truth whenever we 
wander. 95 

This fervent faith had a profound and quieting effect on my 
religious tumult. I learned a new word: Pantheism. Being still 
in that early stage of development where there must be a definite 
word by which to classify oneself, I began to call myself a pan- 

theist and I had a creed which I repeated more often than the 
creed I had learned in childhood : 

Flower in the crannied wall, 

I pluck you out of the crannies, 

I hold you here, root and all, in my hand 

Little flower but if I could understand 

What you are, root and all, and all in all, 

I should know what God and man is. 

It reassured me; I was on the right track, for was I not going 
to find out with the microscope what God and man are? 

Professor Tingley's method for those he found really inter- 
ested in scientific study was to encourage them to look outside 
the book. There was where I had already found my joy; but I 
suspected it was the willful way, that the true way was to know 
first what was in the books. Here in Professor Tingley's classes 
you were ordered to go and see for yourself. He used to tell us 
a story of his first experience at Penikese. A stone was put before 
him, a round water-washed stone, on which he was to report. He 
looked at the stone, turned it over. There was nothing to report. 
"It is not the outside, it is the inside of things that matters," 
said Agassiz. And in the laboratory that became our watchword : 
Look inside. 

Discovering my interest in the microscope, I was not only 
allowed, I was urged to use the magnificent binocular belonging 
to the college, was given the free run of the laboratory along 
with a few as crazy as myself. Here my most exciting adventure 
apart from what I found under the microscope came from actu- 
ally having my hands on a "missing link." Evolution, to which 
I was clinging determinedly, could only be established, I real- 
ized, by discovering the links. There was one peculiar to the 
waters in our valley, the Memopomo Alleglianiensis, a creature 
twelve to fifteen inches long with gills and one lung, able to live 
in the water or mud as circumstances required. The mud puppy, 


as it was appropriately called, was slimy, loathsome, but I 
worked over it with awe. Was I not being admitted into the very 
workshop of Nature herself seeing how she did it? 

Professor Tingley took his little group of laboratory devotees 
into his home circle. He and Mrs. Tingley were housed in a wing 
of Bentley Hall big rooms built for classrooms. They had no 
children, and in the years of their study and travel they had 
gathered about them things of beauty and interest. The atmos- 
phere of those rooms was something quite new and wonderful to 
me. It was my first look into the intimate social life possible to 
people interested above all in ideas, beauty, music, and glad to 
work hard and live simply to devote themselves to their culti- 

And such good talks! Much of it was concerned with fresh 
scientific thought, the inventions and discoveries which were stir- 
ring the world. An omnivorous reader of the scientific publica- 
tions of Europe and America, Professor Tingley kept us excited, 
not only by what had been done but what it might mean. There 
was the telephone. I had been in college but a few weeks when 
my father asked me to, go with him and my brother to the Cen- 
tennial Exposition of 1876. President Bugbee, who had made 
me his special care for a time Mrs. Bugbee even taking me into 
their home until an appropriate boarding place could be found 
was heartily in favor of my going. I went, and when I returned 
Professor Tingley's first question was, "Did you see the tele- 
phone?" I hadn't even heard of it. Two exhibits only of that 
exposition made a deep enough impression on me to last until 
today my first Corot and the Corliss engine. Professor Tingley 
was greatly disappointed, and I did not understand why until a 
few weeks later he called the student body together to explain 
and illustrate the telephone by a homemade instrument. "You'll 
talk to your homes from these rooms one day," he told us. "New 
York will talk to Boston." He didn't suggest Chicago. "Dreamer," 
the boys said. "Dreamer," my father and his Titusville friends 


said a little later when an agent of the Bell Associates, the first 
company to attempt putting the new invention within reach of 
everybody, came to town selling stock. How often I heard it said 
later, "If I'd bought that telephone stock !" 

Years later I told Alexander Graham Bell of my introduction 
to the telephone. "Nobody," he said, "can estimate what the 
teachers of science in colleges and high schools were doing in those 
days not only to spread knowledge of the telephone but to stir 
youth to tackle the possibilities in electricity." 

What I best remember is not the telephone but Professor Ting- 
ley's amazing enthusiasm for the telephone. This revelation of en- 
thusiasm, its power to warm and illuminate was one of the finest 
and most lasting of my college experiences. The people I had 
known, teachers, preachers, doctors, business men, all went 
through their day's work either with a stubborn, often sullen 
determination to do their whole duty, or with an undercurrent of 
uneasiness, if they found pleasure in duty. They seemed to me 
to feel that they were not really working if they were not demon- 
strating the Puritan teaching that labor is a curse. It had never 
seemed so to me, but I did not dare gloat over it. And here was a 
teacher who did gloat over his job in all its ramifications. More- 
over, he did his best to stir you to share his joy. 

But while I looked on what I was learning in the laboratory as 
what I had come to college for, while each term stiffened my 
ambition to go deeper and deeper into the search for the original 
atom, science was not all that interested me. The faculty, if 
small, was made up largely of seasoned men with a perspective 
on life. There was not only deep seriousness but humor and toler- 
ance, and since we were so small a college the student was close 
enough to discover them, to find out what each man as an indi- 
vidual had to offer him. As I learned the power of enthusiasm 
from Jeremiah Tingley, I learned from another man of that 
faculty the value of contempt. Holding the chair of Latin was 
one of the few able teachers I have known, George Haskins, 


father of that sound scholar of international repute, the late 
Charles Homer Haskins, at the time of his death Professor 
Emeritus of Medieval History at Harvard University. What deep 
satisfaction his career gave his father, himself a man of many 
disappointments ! 

George Haskins labored, usually in vain, to arouse us to the 
choiceness of Latinity, the meaning of Rome's rise and fall, the 
quality of her men, the relation of that life to ours. Professor 
Haskins 5 contempt for our lack of understanding, for our slack 
preparation, was something utterly new to me in human inter- 
course. The people I knew with rare exceptions spared one an- 
other's feelings. I had come to consider that a superior grace; 
you must be kind if you lied for it. But here was a man who 
turned on indifference, neglect, carelessness with bitter and caus- 
tic contempt, left his victim seared. The sufferers lived to say, 
some of them at least: "I deserved it. He was never unjust, never 
inappreciative of effort." 

"Cherish your contempts," Henry James advised me once 
when he had drawn from me a confession of the conflict between 
my natural dislike of saying anything unpleasant about anybody 
and the necessity of being cruel, even brutal, if the work I had 
undertaken was to be truthful in fact and logic. "Cherish your 
contempts," said Mr. James, "and strength to your elbow." If 
it had not been for George Haskins I doubt if I should have 
known what he meant ; nor should I ever have become the steady, 
rather dogged worker I am. The contempt for shiftlessness which 
he inspired in me aroused a determination to be a good worker. 
I began to train my mind to go at its task regularly, keep hours, 
study whether I liked a thing or not. I forced myself not to waste 
time, not to loaf, not to give up before I finished. If I failed at 
any point in this discipline I suffered a certain mental and 
spiritual malaise, a dissatisfaction with myself hard to live with. 

In spite of my painful efforts to make a regular worker out 
of myself, life at college was lightened by my discovery of the 


Boy. Incredible as it seems to me now, I had come to college at 
eighteen without ever having dared to look fully into the face 
of any boy of my age. To be sure, I had from childhood nourished 
secret passions for a succession of older individuals whom I never 
saw except at a distance, and with whom I never exchanged a 
word. My brother and his friends, my father and his friends 
these I had always hobnobbed with; but those who naturally 
should have been my companions, I shunned. I was unable to take 
part in those things that brought the young people of the day 
together. I did not dance the Methodist discipline forbade it. 
I was incredibly stupid and uninterested in games still am. I 
had no easy companionable ways, was too shy to attempt them. 
I had my delights ; the hills which I ran, the long drives behind 
our little white horse, the family doings, the reading of French 
regularly with my splendid friend Annette Grumbine, still liv- 
ing, still as she was then a vitalizing influence in the town and 
state for all that makes for a higher social life these things 
and my precious evening walks, the full length of Titusville's 
main street, alone or with some girl friend while we talked of 
things deepest in our minds. 

But in all this there was no boy. I was not long in discovering 
him when I reached Allegheny, for the taboos I encountered at 
the start soon yielded under the increased number of women, 
women in college, in special courses, in the Preparatory Depart- 
ment. They swept masculine prohibitions out of the way took 
possession, made a different kind of institution of it, less scholas- 
tic, gayer, easier-going. The daily association in the classrooms, 
the contacts and appraisements, the mutual interests and inti- 
macies, the continual procession of college doings which in the 
nature of things required that you should have a masculine at- 
tendant, soon put me at my ease. I was learning, learning fast, 
but the learning carried its pains. I still had a stiff-necked deter- 
mination to be free. To avoid entangling alliances of all kinds 
had become an obsession with me. I was slow in laying it aside 


when I began to take part in the social life of the college,, and be- 
cause of it I was guilty of one performance which was properly 
enough a scandal to the young men. 

There were several men's fraternities in the college; most of 
the boys belonged to one or another. It was an ambition of the 
fraternities to put their pins on acceptable town and college girls. 
You were a Delta girl, or a Gamma girl or a Phi Psi girl. I 
resented this effort to tag me. Why should I not have friends 
in all the fraternities? And I had; I accumulated four pins and 
then, one disastrous morning, went into chapel with the four 
pins on my coat. There were a few months after that when, if it 
had not been for two or three non-Frat friends, I should have 
been a social outcast. 

I spent four years in Allegheny College. Measured by what 
I got instead of by what I did not get and was obliged to learn 
later, I regard them as among the most profitable of my life. I 
find often that men and women accuse the college of not opening 
their minds to life as it is in the world. For a mind sufficiently 
developed to see "life as it is" I cannot conceive a more fruitful 
field than the classics. If I had been sufficiently mature I could 
have learned from George Haskins' teachings of Cicero and 
Tacitus and Livy more than I know today about the ways of men 
in their personal and their national relations, more of the causes 
of war, of the weaknesses of governments. But I was not ready 
for it. Life is the great teacher, and she leads us step by step. 
It is not the fault of the human teacher that his pupil must 
learn to climb by climbing. 

It was in the spring of 1880 that I graduated. I still car- 
ried the same baggage with which I had entered a little heavier 
to be sure, a little better packed, a little better adapted to the 
"Purpose." The only difference which threatened disturbance was 
that I had added an item which I had refused to bring with me 
in 1876. Then I was not willing to believe I would ever marry 
now I thought possibly some day I might ; but thq item was not 


heavy, not heavy enough at least to prevent my rejoicing over 
the fact that I was graduating with a job. I had signed a con- 
tract with an institution of which I had never heard until the 
negotiations leading to it opened. After frequent communica- 
tions with the faculty a representative of the Poland Union Sem- 
inary of Poland, Ohio, with some misgivings had employed me 
to serve as its Preceptress $500 a year "and board yourself. 55 
I was jubilant. It meant economic independence the first plank 
in my platform. I would use my leisure to work with the micro- 
scope ; I would save my money ; I would one day go abroad and 
study with some great biologist. I would never abandon my search 
for the beginning of life, the point where I expected to find God. 
It was then with entire confidence in the future that I started 
out in August of 1880 for the town of Poland on the Western 
Reserve of Ohio, to begin what women were then talking of in 
more or less awed tones as a Career. 


IF I had been going on my honeymoon I should scarcely have 
been more expectant or more curious than I was in August of 
1880 when I left home to take my first position: "Preceptress 
of Poland Union Seminary, Poland, Mahoning County, Ohio 
$500.00 a year and board yourself"! Poland was not a long 
journey from my home four or five hours. 

I found the village delightful. It had the air of having been 
long in existence, as it had. Here there was no noise of railroads, 
no sign of the coal and steel and iron industries which encircled 
it but had never passed its boundaries. Here all people seemed 
to me to live tranquilly in roomy houses with pleasant yards or 
on near-by farms where there were fine horses and fat blooded 
sheep, and where planting and harvesting went ahead year in 
and year out in orderly fashion. 

The chief and only industry of Poland was its seminary, now 
about thirty years old. It was a community enterprise started 
in 1848 by Mr. B. F. Lee, the financial agent who had hired me. 
Everybody in the village had subscribed to its endowment, prac- 
tically every church had at one time or another been its patron. 
The long depression of the seventies had crippled its finances 
sadly ; but times were better now, and the well-to-do Presbytery 
of Mahoning County had agreed to take it under its care. But 
I was soon to learn that Poland Union Seminary in spite of the 
patronage of the Presbytery lived on a narrow and worn shoe- 
string. Moreover, I at once divined, kind as were those who were 
responsible for my being there, that I had been injected into a 
situation of which Mr. Lee had given me no hint strong enough 
to penetrate my inexperience. It was serious enough, as on the 


very day the school bell first rang for me the villagers began 
to let me know. Men and women would stop me on the street to 

"So it's you that's taking Miss Blakeley's place. You have no 
idea how badly we feel about her resigning. I went to school to 
her, my father and mother went to school to her. I had hoped all 
my children would go to her. She was a wonderful teacher, a 
beautiful character. You look pretty young; you haven't had 
much experience, have you?" 

I was not long in learning that the devotion of the community 
to Miss Blakeley was deserved. The village was right in honor- 
ing her, in mourning her. It no doubt felt a certain satisfac- 
tion in letting me know at the start it in no way regarded me as 
an adequate substitute. Its insistence was such that, before the 
end of my first fortnight, I was ready to resign. 

My morale would hardly have been so quickly shaken if I 
had not at once discovered to my consternation that there was 
an important part of my duties which was in danger of proving 
too much for me. The worst of it was that it concerned the larg- 
est block of pupils in an institution where every pupil counted, 
where Mr. Lee regarded it as of vital importance that every 
pupil be given what he wanted. Here he advertised you could 
prepare for college, here you could have special advanced work 
in anything you wanted. And Mr. Lee was right if the seminary 
was to live as a cog in the country's educational wheel. 

Somebody ought to write, perhaps somebody has written of 
the passing of this once valuable institution. It came before the 
college and the high school and for a time did the work of both ; 
but when the high school began to prepare students for the col- 
lege and the colleges added preparatory departments and at the 
same time offered special courses the seminary slowly realized 
that it must either go out of business or combine with one or 
another of its healthy growing rivals. 

In a few places, as in Poland Village, the seminary was hang- 


ing on tenaciously, trying to demonstrate that it was still a bet- 
ter man than these new undertakings, these high schools, these 
colleges with their preparatory schools. 

The faculty which was to make the demonstration at Poland 
was made up of three persons: in order of rank, the President, 
the Preceptress, her assistant. The acting President insisted on 
all the perquisites of his title. His chief duty he regarded as con- 
ducting the chapel with more or less grandiloquent remarks. 
When my assistant and I complained of too much work he would 
scowl and say that his executive duties made it impossible for 
him to take on more classes. The result was that I started out 
with two classes in each of four languages Greek, Latin, French, 
and German, as well as classes in geology, botany, geometry, trig- 
onometry. In addition there was my threatened Waterloo, the 
two largest classes in the school: one in what was called "verb 
grammar," the other, "percentage arithmetic" so named from 
the points in the textbooks where the term's work began. From 
time immemorial these two classes had been conducted in the 
interests of the district schoolteachers of the territory. It was 
the custom for these teachers to spend one term a year in the 
seminary, where, regardless of the number of years they had 
been teaching, the number of times they had treated themselves 
to a period of study, they always (so I was told) insisted on their 
verb grammar and their percentage arithmetic. It was like a 
ritual. As they were the numerical backbone of the institution, 
there was nothing so important in the judgment of management 
as their satisfaction. 

It was a killing schedule for one person, but I was so eager, 
so ridiculously willing, so excited, and also so fresh from college 
that I did not know it. Indeed, as I look back on it I think I 
did fairly well, all things considered. I should have had no great 
alarm about my success if it had not been for the grammar and 
the arithmetic. From the first day I realized I was on ground 
there which, once familiar, was now almost unintelligible. I could 


and did teach my geometry and "trig" with relish; I could and 
did pilot fairly advanced classes in four languages so that the 
pupils at least never discovered that in one of them I was far 
beyond my depth, and that in all of them I at times knew my- 
self to be skating on thin ice; but these district schoolteachers, 
several of them older than I, were not to be deceived or bluffed. 
They had had experience I had not; and like the villagers of 
Poland they proposed to make me realize that no college diploma 
could make up for inexperience. Experience in "percentage arith- 
metic" and "verb grammar" came from doing the same examples 
and diagraming and parsing the same sentences year after 
year and going back to teach them in their communities. Many 
of these examples were tricky. Many of the sentences were am- 
biguous. They had learned solutions for both, solutions which 
had the backing of tradition. I was soon terrified lest I be trapped, 
so scared I would wake up in the night in cold sweats. This was 
my state of mind when one day the most important man in the 
Village, Robert Walker, the local banker, stopped me on the 

"Sis," he said he was to always call me Sis "Sis, you are 
following a fine teacher." I could have wept the same old story. 
"But don't worry, what you must do is keep a stiff upper lip." 

"Oh, thank you, sir," I said as I hurried on lest I cry in the 

But that "keep a stiff upper lip," coming from the man it 
did, restored me; and I resolved, cost what it would, to find a 
way to master my district schoolteachers. True, it took me two 
months to discover the weak place in their armor. Finally I 
learned they were solving problems and parsing sentences not 
according to principles but according to answers they had 
learned. The reason they insisted on going over them year after 
year at the seminary was to keep the solutions in their memory. 
I had no skill in solving puzzles, but I did know something about 
the principles and determined to try them on problems and sen- 


tences that were not in their books or any books to which they 
had access. 

And so one day, luckily for me before they had a chance to 
demonstrate my incapacity as two or three of them I am confi- 
dent were expecting to do, I casually put on the board two or 
three rather tough examples from outside arithmetics, two or 
three not simple sentences from grammars I felt sure they had 
never seen. I always recall with satisfaction the perplexity with 
which the two or three young men I most feared looked at what 
I had set for them, their injured protest. "But those examples are 
not in our books." "What difference does that make? The only 
important thing is that you know the principles. If you can't 
apply them, why learn them?" 

After a month of excursions into territory unfamiliar to them 
I had them humbled and slowly grasping certain new ideas. I 
knew I was regarded with respect. It was the one conquest in the 
two years I spent as the Preceptress of the Poland Union Sem- 
inary of which I was proud. 

Before these two years were up Mr. Lee must have realized 
he would never get from me the help he needed in his ambition 
to preserve the school as a seminary, that I would never become 
another Miss Blakeley. He wanted some one ambitious to make 
teaching a life work. I was not. Teaching was a mere stepping- 
stone in my plan of life, and at Poland Union Seminary it had 
proved a slippery stone. From the time I bounded out of bed in 
the morning for in those days I did bound out of bed until I 
dropped into it at an early hour, dead tired, I had no time for 
my microscope. It had become dusty on the table, but the pas- 
sion for it and what it might reveal was still strong in me. My 
confidence that I could save money to continue my studies on 
five hundred dollars a year had proved illusory. I found myself 
coming out short, obliged to borrow from my father. There came 
to be a mutual, if unspoken, agreement between Mr. Lee and me 
that I should resign. Neither of us was getting what he had 


hoped, and so at the end of the second year, June, 1882, I gave 
up teaching as a stepping-stone. 

So far as I could then see or did see for a long time, this first 
effort at an independent self-directing life was an interlude 
which had no relation to what I wanted at the time to do or 
what, as it turned out, I did do. 

The most lasting impressions and experiences in this Poland 
interlude had little or nothing to do with my work in the sem- 
inary. They came from the friendships I formed while that work 
went on, centering in the family of the understanding gentle- 
man who had at the outset stopped me on the street to say, "Keep 
a stiff upper lip." 

I was soon to realize that this shrewd bit of advice was insti- 
gated by his daughter Clara, who was to become and who re- 
mains one of my dearest friends. Indeed, it was due to her under- 
standing and affection that my two years in Poland, quite apart 
from the professional disappointment in them, were the gayest, 
most interesting, and in many ways the happiest of my life up 
to that time. 

Clara Walker, or "Dot," as high and low in and about Poland 
called her, was a fine example of the out-of-door girl of the 
eighties, the girl who had revolted against lacing, high heels, long 
skirts, and substituted for them an admirable uniform of inde- 
pendence tailor-made coat and skirt, high-neck shirtwaist with 
four-in-hand tie, flat heels. This outfit suited Clara Walker's 
sturdy figure, her vigorous and free movement. Her eyes suited 
her costume, for they were grey, direct, merry, looking unwaver- 
ingly on everybody and everything. 

Dot was close-mouthed, but when she sensed possible unfair- 
ness in a situation which interested or concerned her she had 
her own wordless way of dealing with it. It was she who realized 
the determination of the villagers of Poland to make me feel 
that I never could fill Miss Blakeley's place to their satisfaction. 
She was loyal as they to the old teacher, but she wanted me to 


have my chance and, the first "week of school, announced herself 
my champion by appearing at the door of the seminary as I was 
making my weary way out at the end of the day. 

"Wouldn't you like to take a drive?" she said. 

And there stood her smart turnout. What an escape from verb 
grammar and percentage arithmetic and my growing inferiority 
complex ! From that time she never lagged in her determination 
to help me conquer my problem by taking me away from it. 
She apparently took real pleasure in showing me the country. 
Never a week that we did not go somewhere: Into town for the 
theater the first time I saw Mary Anderson, then the most be- 
loved actress as well as the most beautiful woman in the country, 
was in Youngstown in "Pygmalion 55 ; to big farms with great 
flocks of blooded sheep and horses and ponies; to coal mines 
and iron mills; to little old towns and run-down settlements 
skipped, like Poland, by the invasion of industry. 

Clara peopled all these various places with the unadorned 
realistic tales of living and dead men and women. She had been 
born and had grown up in Mahoning County. She had a widely 
scattered family connection, but most important was her gen- 
uine interest in all human beings and theirs in her. She was a 
perfect listener, never prying. People liked to talk to her; she 
never forgot, related things, judged shrewdly and kindly, with 
the result that she had in her mind a map of the human life of 
the country, quite as reliable as a road map a map in warm 
humorous colors. 

Years later I realized that in those two years in Poland I had 
had under my eyes a vivid picture of what happens to the farmer, 
his home, his town, his children when industry invades his land. 

This Mahoning country had been so rich, so apparently stable. 
The men and women so loved what they and their forebears had 
done that they yielded slowly to the coal miner and the mill man, 
but they were giving way in the eighties. The furnace was in 
the back yard of the fine old houses with their ample barns ; and 


the shaft of the coal mine, in the richest meadows. The effort to 
reconcile the two was making, but industry was conquering: 
the destruction of beauty, the breaking down of standards of con- 
duct, the growth of the love of money for money's sake, the grist 
of social problems facing the countryside from the inflow of 
foreigners and the instability of work all this was written for 
him who could read. I could not read then, but I gathered a few 
impressions which I realize now helped shape my future interests 
and thinking. 

It was on these long drives I first learned that not cities alone 
but all communities have dregs, slums. Strange that it should 
be in such a place as Poland, but here it was a disreputable 
fringe where a group of men and women had long been living 
together with or without marriage. You heard strange tales of 
incest and lust, of complete moral and social irresponsibility, 
and they were having a scandalously jolly time of it. Why I was 
not more shocked, I do not know; probably because incest and 
lust were almost unknown words to me in those days. 

And there were indelible impressions of the industrial world. 
When we drove into Youngstown, ten miles away, we passed be- 
tween iron furnaces lying along the Mahoning River. After the 
long depression of the seventies they were again busy, and into 
the valley were coming hundreds and hundreds of foreigners 
brought from Europe by the news that there was once again work 
in the United States. It was in passing through the very heart 
of this furnace district one night returning from the theater 
that I first learned of the terrible dangers that lie in the smelting 
of ore. A furnace had burst ; men had been trapped by the molten 
metal, and their charred remains were being carried across the 
road. Unforgettable horror. 

And it was on one of these chance drives that I first saw what 
women can do in moments of frenzied protest against situations 
which they cannot control, first had my faith challenged in the 


universally peaceful nature of my sex. I learned the meaning of 
Maenads, Furies, as we came upon a maddened, threatening 
crowd rushing towards the offices of the mills which had been 
shut down without warning. It was led by big robust shrieking 
women, their hair flying, their clothes disheveled. It was a look 
into a world of which I knew nothing, but like the charred bodies 
carried across the road as I rode from the theater it was an 
unforgettable thing. 

There were other introductions to the industrial world less hor- 
rifying. It was while in Poland that I first went into a coal mine 
a deep old-fashioned coal mine, a subsidiary to a farm. Under 
some of these great farms with their blooded sheep, their fine 
orchards and fields, their horses and ponies, coal had been found. 
And it was being mined as a side line of the farm, a new kind 
of crop. Near the head of the shaft were little houses for the 
miners; and when dull times came and the mine was shut down 
the farmers took on their care. There was a slaughter of an im- 
mense number of pigs, the putting down of barrels of pork, the 
smoking of an incredible number of hams, the making of sausages 
and headcheese. 

"But why, why all this?" I asked. 

"Oh, 55 said my hostess, "mining is unstable business. When 
there are long shutdowns we must help the miners out, see that 
they have food." 

The intimacy with Dot Walker gave me a home. Mrs. Walker 
treated me as a daughter, and as for Robert Walker, who still 
called me "Sis," he liked to have me around and to give me a 
word of wise counsel now and then. It is because, in those months, 
I learned him to be as kindly, shrewd, honest, simple-minded a 
man as I have ever known that I must interrupt my narrative 
long enough to put in here the story of one of the cruelest epi- 
sodes of which I personally have known in the fifty years that I 
have been a more or less understanding observer of our national 


political life. The story is of Robert Walker and his one-time 
friend William McKinley, the twenty-fifth President of the 
United States. 

When I became an intimate of the Walker household a person 
I often heard mentioned by its head was "the Major" Major 
McKinley. Now it was not in 1880 a name unfamiliar to me. I 
had met it already at Allegheny College, where McKinley had 
once been a student. When the Civil War broke out he had 
joined the exodus of students who volunteered at the first call. 
He had come out of the war a major, studied law, and settled in 
Canton, Ohio, only sixty or seventy miles from Poland and in 
the same Congressional District. Here in 1876 the Mahoning 
district as it was called had sent him to Congress. It was a 
matter of interest in Allegheny in my time to have one of its 
former students turn out a Congressman, its usual crop being 
teachers, preachers, and missionaries. 

When I came to Poland I learned quickly that McKinley had 
lived there as a boy, had attended the seminary, and was their 
proudest example of "the boy who had made good." For four 
years he had been their Congressman. How they boasted of him ! 
How solidly they voted for him ! 

I was not long in the Walker household before I sensed some- 
thing more in Robert Walker than a citizen's pride in McKinley. 
It was that species of adoration a modest, honest-minded man 
often has for his leader his leader who can do no wrong. I real- 
ized this when I first saw them together. The Major had come 
to our seminary commencement in June of 1881. I remember 
nothing at all of the speech he made, but the scene on the wide 
green in front of the village church after the exercises were over 
remains vivid. Scattered about were scores upon scores of girls 
and women in the frilly white gowns, the long white feather boas, 
the flower-trimmed hats, the gay parasols of the period; and in 
and out wound the Major, shaking hands, smiling, exchanging 
friendly greetings all together at home, no back slapping, no 


kissing of babies. It was all so gentle, so like a picture of an 
English garden party where the politics are hidden beneath the 
finest of social veneers. And there was Robert Walker almost 

"Well, Sis/' he asked me later, "what do you think of the 
Major?" A remark to which he expected no answer. What an- 
swer other than Ms could there be? 

What I did not know then was that from the beginning of 
William McKinley's political career Robert Walker had been his 
cj^ef an( j for a time, I think, his only financial backer. Be- 
ginning with his first campaign for Congress in 1875 Mr. Walker 
had advanced the Major $2,000 for expenses. He continued equal 
advances before each successive campaign, the understanding 
being that $1,000 a year was to be paid on the debt. 

Along with this financial support went a staunch support of 
all the Major's political ideas. These ideas were those of the 
Republican party, and for men like Robert Walker the party was 
hallowed. It was "the party of Lincoln." Loyalty to Lincoln 
required loyalty to all that was directly or indirectly connected 
with him. 

"Is Robert Lincoln a dude?" one of my Mahoning County 
acquaintances asked me years later when I told him that I had 
been talking with Robert Lincoln about his father. 

"Is he a dude?" by which he meant, as I took it, a kind of 
Ward McAllister. 

"No, no, not that," I assured him. 

"Well," he said reflectively, "even if he was a dude I would 
vote for him for President because he is Abraham Lincoln's son." 

The chief test of loyalty to the party of Lincoln in Ohio was 
the degree of support given to the high protective tariff. William 
McKinley's support was devout and unqualified. He looked on 
a duty so low that it allowed importations as a species of treason. 
There was tin plate, for example. 

The year that I went to Poland, 1880, McKinley first espoused 


a duty on tin plate. There was strong opposition among iron 
and steel manufacturers. They felt they already had all they 
could look after in Congress ; but when they told this to McKinley 
his answer was that unless they supported tin plate he would 
not support their tariffs. Naturally they yielded, and tin plate 
was added to their list of proteges. McKinley felt so sure of 
ultimate victory for the duty that he evidently did not hesitate 
to advise his friends to get ready for its coming. At all events 
he encouraged Robert Walker, suggested to him in fact that he 
establish in Youngstown, Ohio, a stamping plant for the making 
of tinware, taking with him as partner his brother-in-law Andrew 
J. Duncan. As Andrew Duncan had no money to invest the 
Major gave to Mr. Walker a sheaf of signed notes to be used 
whenever he had need of money. 

Now Robert Walker was not a manufacturer ; he was a farmer 
and a good one a coal operator the banker of the Village 
of Poland and the surrounding country, but it was not in Robert 
Walker's nature to refuse to help the Major or his relatives in 
their ambitions, as he had already frequently proved. Indeed, at 
that time he was backing McKinley's brother Abner in a busi- 
ness venture which was soon to fail with loss of all he had put 
in. But Robert Walker's faith in McKinley's wisdom was such 
that he could not conceive of failure in anything he advised. 

The plant was started in 1890. There could not have been a 
more unlucky moment to launch a new industry. The long de- 
pression of the nineties was beginning. Iron and steel were already 
seriously affected. Money was tight. Robert Walker found him- 
self almost at once forced to use the Major's notes. He found 
only too soon that he had embarked on a hopeless undertaking, 
and in February of 1893 the works were closed. 

Now at that moment Mark Hanna and his colleagues on the 
National Republican Committee were counting on William Mc- 
Kinley to win the Presidential election for them in 1896. The 
announcement that he was involved in the Walker failure to the 


tune of some one hundred thousand dollars, more than the com- 
bined fortune of himself and wife, was a cruel blow to their plan. 
McKinley was straightforward with them. He had signed the 
notes ; he must give up politics, go back to the law, and pay his 
honest debts. But that could not be permitted. He was too im- 
portant one hundred thousand dollars was a small sum com- 
pared to what the Republican Committee expected from his elec- 
tion. The money was raised not so quietly. It became necessary 
to explain how McKinley had become involved to this amount, 
and the explanation which McKinley's political friends put out 
was that he was a victim of "a man named Walker," as Mark 
Hanna's able biographer, Herbert Croly, calls him a man whom 
he had trusted, and who had deceived him as to the amount of 
money he was raising on his notes. That is, the Republican 
committee deliberately put on Robert Walker the stigma of 
fraud, presented him to the public as a man who had betrayed 
confidence, and William McKinley never denied their presenta- 

I have it from Robert Walker and from his daughter that no 
note of William McKinley was ever cashed without consulting 
him, and I believe them. Moreover, Andrew Duncan was in this 
enterprise and knew what was going on. It is an interesting fact 
that when my friend Clara Walker, who kept the accounts for 
the McKinleys and her father, went the morning after the an- 
nouncement of the failure to her office in Youngstown, all her 
books had disappeared along with many papers which belonged 
to the firm. 

I had been living abroad for two years when all this happened, 
but just before I had left America I had talked with Robert 
Walker about his venture the money he was trying to raise 
on McKinley's notes. His confidence was untarnished. 

"The Major knows, Sis. He will see this thing through. I'd 
do anything to back him." 

And he did. When on my return I went to see my friends I 


found they had given up practically everything, and Robert 
Walker himself was utterly broken by the ignominy heaped on 

I begged him to give me his side of the story, let me tell it, 
told him I would never rest until I had an opportunity to put 
down what I knew of his long support of the Major's ambitions, 
what I believed of him as a man of unselfish integrity. He abso- 
lutely and finally refused. "Nobody would ever believe the Major 
could do anything wrong. I didn't." 

But the Major had allowed the oldest and most loyal friend 
he had in his public life to be ruined not only in fortune but in 
reputation. Now that Robert Walker and Mrs. Walker are both 
gone and reviving the episode can no longer give them pain, it 
gives me a certain solace to put down the story as I believe it. 

I was leaving Poland, but what was I to do? Today, with my 
passion for the microscope still undimmed, I would naturally seek 
a place in one of the many laboratories now open to women. Hun- 
dreds of women in the country bent on scientific research are 
now in industrial, institutional, or governmental laboratories, 
but in 1882 there was almost nothing of that kind open to women. 
The change is due, first, to the tremendous advance in scientific 
research; second, to the way women have proved their adapt- 
ability to laboratory work. No doubt the great majority of them 
are, like the majority of women in offices, laboratory wives, but 
we have inspired workers among them ; probably, all things con- 
sidered, as large a proportion as among men. 

If things had been as they were in 1876, when I asked my 
father if he could put me through college and he had so cheer- 
fully and happily, I think, agreed, I could have asked to be 
financed for higher studies. But things were not as they had 
been, and it would have been quite out of the question in 1882, 
when I decided that my first step towards economic independence 
was mistaken, for him to finance me the country was coming 


into a new depression, that of '83 and *84, and the oil business 
was in a serious state for those who produced the oil. 

But my home was open, wide open. I think it was this fact 
that is at the bottom of my strong conviction that the home is 
an essential link in the security of men and women. After one 
has gone forth on his own there frequently comes a time when 
he is shelterless as far as his own resources go. To have a refuge 
of which he is sure is one of the most heartening and stabilizing 
experiences in a life. If my Poland venture was a failure pro- 
fessionally it did not throw me on the street; I had a place to 
go and think it over. When I asked my mother if it would be all 
right for me to come home, her answer was what it always was 
to be in the future when I was obliged (more than once) to make 
the request: "Of course, that is your right.' 5 That is, my father 
and mother looked on the home they had created not as some- 
thing belonging only to_them a place they had for their com- 
fort and privacy, it was a place for all of those in the family 
procession who had no other place to go. In turn I saw that 
home opened to grandmother and grandfather, aunts and uncles, 
children and grandchildren, quite regardless of the extra burden 
it put on their resources, limitations on their space, the irrita- 
tions and complications that are always bred by the injection of 
extra persons, however beloved and close, into a settled group. 

It was in June, 1882, that I went back home, dusted my desk 
in the Tower room now shared with my sister's playhouse and 
dolls set up my microscope and went to work on the Hydrozoa. 
But not for long. 


IT WAS the custom of the Tarbell household to do its part in 
entertaining the Methodist ministers and presiding elders who 
periodically "filled the pulpit" of our church. In the winter after 
my return from the Poland venture we had a guest, an impor- 
tant local personage. Dr. Theodore L. Flood, a preacher who 
had retired from active ministry to take the editorship of a maga- 
zine called The Chautauqiut/n, published in the town thirty miles 
from Titusville where I had so recently spent four years Mead- 
ville, the home of Allegheny College. 

On this visit Dr. Flood asked me to "help him out" for a 
month or two in a new department in his magazine. I was quick 
to accept, glad to be useful, for I had grown up with what was 
called the Chautauqua Movement. Indeed, it had been almost as 
much a part of my life as the oil business, and in its way it was 
as typically American. If we had a truer measure for values we 
would count it more important. 

This Chautauqua Movement had grown out of a Methodist 
camp meeting held annually at Fair Point on the pleasant lake 
which in my childhood had been the terminus of our most ambi- 
tious all-day excursions. The president of this Association by 
1870 was a man justly respected in all that part of the world 
for his good deeds, as well as his business acumen Lewis Miller, 
a manufacturer of Akron, Ohio. Mr. Miller was to be known 
nationally as the father-in-law of Thomas Edison, but old-time 
Chautauquans put it the other way: "Edison is Lewis Miller's 
son-in-law." That was enough recommendation for Edison in 
their minds, 



Lewis Miller's interest in Chautauqua went beyond the annual 
camp meeting. He saw the opportunity to build up there a sum- 
mer home where parents could give their children healthy out- 
of-door amusement, protection from the evil ways of the unre- 
generate, and sound modern instruction in the Bible. Sympathy 
with this program induced a half-dozen families in the Titus- 
ville Methodist Church to join in the purchase of a lot on the 
outskirts of the grounds and start a Titusville settlement a cot- 
tage with a mess hall and a few rooms tents serving as sleeping 
quarters for extras. Father joined the colony soon after we 
moved to Titusville. We had a tent and a flat-bottomed boat. 

Through the years I have been recalling, the years in high 
school, college, as Preceptress of Poland Union Seminary, part 
of all my summers had been spent at Chautauqua. Lewis Miller's 
laudable attempt to furnish attractive instruction in the Bible 
meant little or nothing to me at first; the flat-bottomed boat 
meant a great deal. But in 1874 something happened that 
dragged me away from the water. Lewis Miller had persuaded 
the most eminent advocate of the Sunday school in America, 
Dr. (afterwards Bishop) John TL Vincent, to select Fair Point 
as the home of a National Interdenominational Sunday School 
Institute which he and those who saw with him had been for 
some time planning. The first session of this new organization 
was held in 1874 under the name of the Chautauqua Assembly. 
It was recognized at once as a revolution upsetting the old order. 

The most spectacular feature of the revolution was the Chau- 
tauqua platform, making as it did stirring, challenging contacts 
with current intellectual life. There one heard the great speakers 
of the day on all sorts of subjects. There fine concerts were 
given. It was the scientific lectures which caught me, particularly 
those of Dr. R. Ogden Doremus of New York. His platform ex- 
periments, in which two skillful women assisted, excited me as 
I had never been before. But what aroused me most were certain 
demonstrations with a magnificent microscope which they were 


giving in a Kttle building at one side. Nothing in the world 
seemed to matter to me so much as to be able to talk with these 
women, to ask their advice about the work I was beginning with 
the little instrument bought with my own carefully saved money. 
Perhaps, oh, perhaps, I dreamed, they would let me look through 
the great beauty they handled so deftly, focus it, watch the life 
which went on in its field. So one day I hung around after the 
talk was over, slipped up to them, steeled myself to tell them 
that I was going to be a microscopist, begged them to give me 
a few lessons, advise me. The two ladies smiled down from their 
height, so plainly showing they thought me a country child with 
a queer behavior complex. "Quite impossible," they said, and 
turned back to their conference with Dr. Doremus. 

Abashed, humiliated, but luckily too angry to cry I made my 
way back to my flat-bottomed boat. I would show them, I re- 
solved, clenching my fists ! 

It was years before I attempted again to get from a Chau- 
tauqua undertaking more than it was offering to the public at 
large. There were many of these undertakings. Dr. Vincent saw 
to that. A man better fitted by experience, conviction, and per- 
sonality to persuade a half-asleep, wholly satisfied community 
to accept a new order could not have been found in the America 
of the eighties. John Vincent was forty-two years old when he 
came to Chautauqua handsome, confident, alert, energetic, radi- 
ating well-being. And he was an orator, and orating at Chau- 
tauqua made men tolerant even of heresy. He went about his 
business of organizing the work of the Assembly with a skill 
which commanded the admiration of everybody, even those hostile 
to the secularization of their beloved camp meeting. As a plat- 
form manager I never have known his equal. He had magnetism, 
but he knew when and how to turn it on; he was shrewd, cun- 
ning, pungent. He pricked bubbles, disciplined his audience. The 
Chautauqua audience came to be one of the best behaved out-of- 
door audiences in the country. The fact that we were out of doors 


had persuaded us that we were free to leave meetings if we were 
bored or suddenly remembered that we had left bread in the 
oven, or that the baby must have wakened. When the perform- 
ance had been stopped once or twice to "give that lady a chance 
to go out without further disturbing the speaker" we learned 
to stay at home or to sit out the lecture. 

There is only one word to describe what Lewis Miller and Dr. 
Vincent now did to Chautauqua, and that is "electrification." 
The community was made up mainly of hard-working men and 
women who wanted a vacation in surroundings where they would 
not "have to worry about the children." Certainly if high fences 
with gates through which you could not pass in or out after 
ten P.M. never pass without your ticket, and not even with one 
on Sundays if watchful guards and ten o'clock curfew, if a 
mass public opinion on the part of elders in support of these 
restrictions, could have suppressed all the mischief and lawless- 
ness in the youth which swarmed Chautauqua, parents were right 
in sleeping tranquilly. As a matter of fact I never knew of any 
serious offenses, though there probably were many which I was 
still too much of a little girl to recognize. The worst mischief 
in which I personally assisted was playing tag up and down 
the relief model of Palestine, which skirted the lake as Palestine 
does the Mediterranean. It was spotted with plaster-of-Paris 
models of towns from Damascus to Bethsaida. I remember one 
rule of our game was that you could not be tagged if you strad- 
dled Jerusalem. The most serious vandalism of which I knew and 
in which I had no part was stealing Damascus or Nazareth or 
Tyre and carrying it away bodily. 

Dr. Vincent did not change the restrictions, but he made them 
more endurable by the fresh interest he put into our lives. His 
effect on the community physically was immediate. It began to 
grow. The sound of the hammers nailing together the, for the 
most part, flimsy cottages was never still. The result was very 
like what Mark Twain found in the summer colony of Onteora in 


the Catskills in its first year "the partitions so thin you can hear 
the women changing their minds." 

Housekeeping improved. It had been as sketchy as the cot- 
tages picnic housekeeping. You saw them at it, out in the rear 
of their cottages, over an old wood stove or stone fireplace, the 
men in their shirt sleeves, the women in big aprons, if not wrap- 
pers. Planks on sawhorses for tables, mats (we had not learned 
to say "doilies" yet), benches for seats. The natural practice of 
bringing discarded furniture from home to furnish the cottages 
led to the only distinctive piece of Chautauqua furniture I recall 
a long high-backed bench made from an old-fashioned four- 
post bedstead. There were few garrets in all the country about 
Chautauqua that did not harbor one or more such bedsteads. 
They had been hidden away when families could afford the new- 
styled quartered-oak or walnut bedroom suites. Some ingenious 
mind had seen that by shortening the sidepieces of a four-poster 
to seat width, using the headboard for a back, you had a com- 
modious and, with cushions, a comfortable seat, even couch. They 
were scattered all over the place. 

With the coming of Dr. Vincent, Chautauqua rapidly devel- 
oped a Promenade along the south end of the lake front. Cot- 
tages here were lathed and plastered, had wicker chairs on their 
verandahs, and the residents soon were taking their meals at 
the really stately Athenaeum Hotel. It was in this front row that 
Dr. and Mrs. Vincent came to live in a tent, a tent de luxe with 
a real house so it looked to us behind it. 

Sometimes when we were properly dressed and shod we walked 
past the hotel and the cottages housing our aristocrats, and if 
by chance we saw Dr. or Mrs. Vincent or, best of all, the "Vin- 
cents' little boy" George, we later learned his name to be 
why, then we boasted of it at the supper table as one might say 
today, "I saw President Roosevelt, Mrs. Roosevelt, Sistie, Buz- 


Dr. Vincent kept the place on its toes not only by the steady 


improvement of Its platform, its amusements, in the quality of 
the people who came to teach and preach, but by a steady flow 
of new undertakings. He planned incessantly to stir not only 
our souls but our minds. We came to expect new ideas at each 
successive session and were never disappointed if sometimes a 
little bewildered. Behind all these various undertakings was the 
steadying hand of Lewis Miller, the silent partner, who had be- 
gun by spying out the land, establishing a community, laying 
the foundations for the Institution as it exists today a center of 
democratic, Christian culture. 

Dr. Vincent's masterpiece, as I always thought, came in 1878 
when he laid before his Chautauquans a plan which had been long 
simmering in his never quiet mind. He did this in the finest of 
what we call inspirational talks that I ever heard at least it 
stirred me so deeply that I have never forgotten the face of the 
orator nor, more important, the upturned faces of his hearers. 
He announced a scheme for a four-year course of home reading 
under the direction of the Chautauqua management adapted to 
men and women who had missed a college education, but who 
felt a deep desire for knowledge and were willing to adopt any 
practical plan which would give them a college outlook. It was 
to be called the Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle. 

Now this does not sound exciting; but as a matter of fact it 
was deeply exciting, for the speaker was pouring out his heart. 
He had never had a college education; he had never ceased to 
feel the lack of what he believed it would have given him. He had 
struggled to make up for his loss by persistent, systematic daily 
reading and study. Establishing the habit as a boy, he had never 
abandoned it. It had given him deep satisfaction, supplied, he 
thought, the college outlook. He believed there were thousands 
of men and women in the United States, scores, possibly hun- 
dreds, in his audience, who had been forced, as he had been, to 
sacrifice their early ambitions for education. They had hidden 
the hunger in their hearts where at times it still gnawed. He was 


offering them the same help he had found, and confidently, glow- 
ingly, he outlined the course of home reading which Dr. John H. 
Finley has so aptly named the American Adult Education 

The uplifted faces all about me told the story, particularly the 
faces of the women of thirty or more. Women of that genera- 
tion had had their natural desire for knowledge intensified by 
the Woman's Rights movement, in which the strongest plank 
had been a demand for the opportunity for higher education. 
These women were now beyond the day when they could go to 
college, but here was something which they saw intuitively was 

The immediacy of their response was in a degree accounted 
for by their devotion to Dr. Vincent. I suppose most of the 
women who frequented Chautauqua were more or less in love 
with him, the worship a man of overflowing sentiment receives 
from the benches, but most of his audience would have preferred 
to die rather than reveal their secret passion. 

Well, it was a great eniotional experience with large and imme- 
diate practical results, for, before the summer session was over, 
eight thousand people had joined the Chautauqua Literary and 
Scientific Circle. 

They had joined, and they were buying the books chosen. The 
most important volume in that first year's course was Green's 
"Short History of the English People" in my judgment the 
most important book save one that the Chautauqua Literary 
and Scientific Circle ever included, that exception being W. C. 
Brownell's "French Traits." The sudden demand for so large 
and expensive a volume as Green's History, outside of regular 
trade channels, followed as it was by spectacular sales of other 
books from which neither publisher nor writer had expected any- 
thing out of the normal, set the whole publishing world agog, 
and naturally raised the question, "How are we to get in on this 
new market?" 


There were many approaches, all legitimate enough so far 
as I know. I found a rather amusing proof of one not long ago 
in Marjorie Wiggin Prescott's fine collection of manuscripts and 
rare books a volume of Lew Wallace's "Ben Hur" enriched 
by a letter to the publisher, signed by Mrs. Wallace and dated 
November 24, 1884. The letter, which is self-explanatory, is 
reproduced here with Mrs. Prescott's permission. 

Crawfordsville, Nov. 24, 1884. 
Dear Sir 

Because of inquiries of correspondents as to the number of 
wives Gen. Wallace has had, I have thought best to instruct you 
to add to the dedication of Ben-Hur, making it: 


The Wife of My Youth 
who still abides with me 

This with Gen. Wallace's consent. 

Several literary clubs have made it a handbook for study in 
connection with Roman History. If by some means you could 
have it adopted by the Chautauqua Club, which numbers twenty 
thousand members, it might be worth while to try. Pardon the 

May I ask you to furnish me a report of the sales of Ben-Hur, 
year by year, from the beginning? 

With high regard, 

Very truly yours 


As the Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle grew, there 
came increasing necessity of a steady sympathetic administra- 
tion. To help in this task it was decided in 1880 to establish a 
monthly organ The Chautauqiuin, it was to be called in 
which portions of the required readings could be published more 
cheaply than in book form, and through which by counsel and 
suggestions the leaders could keep in closer touch with the read- 
ers better meet their needs. Dr. Vincent was quick to sense 


weak places in the organization,, and ingenious in devising ways 
to take care of them. It was to try out one of his devices that 
Dr. Flood was now asking my temporary help. 

Here was the situation that had been uncovered hundreds 
of those who had joined the great circle and bought its books 
were without dictionaries, encyclopaedias, explanatory helps of 
any kind, and they lived too far away on the Plains, in the 
mountains, on distant farms to reach libraries. Headquarters 
were inundated with questions : How do you pronounce this word, 
translate this phrase? Who was this man, this woman? What does 
this or that mean? 

"Could not The Chautauquan take care of this difficulty ," 
suggested Dr. Vincent, "by annotating the portions of the vari- 
ous texts to be read in that particular month? Let some one try 
it out." 

As I happened to be the "some one" within reach when Dr. 
Flood received the suggestion, the attempt was put up to me 
temporary trial, I was made to understand. Now I had known 
from childhood homes and towns where there were practically 
no books beyond the Bible and the children's spellers. As books 
had always come after bread in our household I naturally pitied 
those who did not have them; so I undertook the notes with the 
determination to make them as helpful as I could. 

To my surprise and delight Dr. Vincent sent word to me that 
I had caught his idea, and that he had advised Dr. Flood to ask 
me to prepare similar notes each month. 

"Will you do it?" asked Dr. Flood. 

I jumped at the chance, calculating that it would take not over 
two weeks of my month, give me pin money, and leave time for 
the microscope that my future was in it, I did not dream. 

But my task required better equipped libraries than Titus- 
ville offered; Meadville, only thirty miles away, headquarters 
for The Chautauquan, had them, and so I arranged to do my 
work there, remaining until I had read the proofs an exacting 


job which never ceased to worry me. What if the accent was in 
the wrong place? What if I brought somebody into the world in 
the wrong year? Something of the kind happened occasionally, 
and when it did I quickly discovered that, while there might be 
many Chautauqua readers who did not have books of reference, 
there were more that did and knew how to use them. 

Once in touch with the office of The Chautauqium I began to 
see things to do. Dr. Flood had little interest in detail. The maga- 
zine was made up in a casual, and to my mind a disorderly, 
fashion. I could not keep my fingers off. A woman is a natural 
executive: that has been her business through the ages. Intui- 
tively she picks up, sets to rights, establishes order. I began 
at once to exercise my inheritance, proved useful, was offered a 
full-time job, and threw myself heartily into an attempt to learn 
how to make up a magazine in the way I suspected a magazine 
should be made up. 

When the long-suffering foreman of the printing office dis- 
covered I was in earnest he undertook my education, taught me 
the vocabulary the only galley I had heard of up to that time 
was a war vessel of the Middle Ages suggested dummies, and 
offered a model. He installed a proper respect for the dates on 
which copy was to be in, and forms closed : showed me the impor- 
tance of clean copy by compelling me to see with my own eyes 
the time it took to make a correction, trained me until I could 
stand over the closing of the last form and direct the necessary 
changes to be made in order to make room for a three-line adver- 
tisement which had just arrived, and which, such was the need 
of The Chautauquan for advertising, must under no considera- 
tion be thrown out. When I could do that nonchalantly I felt as 
if I had arrived. And this training I owed to as fine a crafts- 
man as there was in the trade at the time; as well, he was a 
courteous and patient gentleman Adrian McCoy, long the head 
of the pressroom where The Cliawtauquan was printed. 

My willingness to take on loose ends soon brought to my desk 


much of the routine office correspondence letters to be answered 
by a more or less set form, signed with Dr. Flood's name and 
mailed without troubling him to read them. 

In this grist were many letters from readers, women chiefly, 
who laid their troubles and hopes on our shoulders, confident of 
understanding and counsel. Dr. Flood's answers to such com- 
munications were courteous but formal. Probably he appreciated 
as I did not that there lay safety. I felt strongly that such an 
appeal or confidence should have a personal, sympathetic letter, 
and I began producing them, pouring out counsel and pity. I 
shudder now to think of the ignorant sentiment I probably 
spilled. But my career as a professional counselor was checked 
suddenly by the unexpected result of a series of letters to a con- 
tributor. This gentleman, a foreign lecturer and teacher, had 
been chilled by the lack of understanding by Americans of his 
ideals. And all of this he was expressing in letters to the office 
after our acceptance of one or two of his articles. I was deeply 
touched by his outpourings and answered in kind of course 
signing my editor's name. Then one day Dr. Flood received a 
letter saying that on such a day the gentleman would be in 
Meadville. He must see the one who so understood him. And come 
he did. Poor Dr. Flood did not know what it was all about. 

"But these letters," the visitor exclaimed. "Oh," Dr. Flood 
said, "Miss Tarbell wrote those. We'll speak to her." 

And so he was presented letters in hand Dr. Flood looking 
sternly at me and leaving me to my fate. 

"Did you write these letters?" the bewildered and disappointed 
stranger asked. 

All I could say was, "Yes, I wrote them." 

"And Dr. Flood never saw them?" 

"No," I said, "he never does." 

"I might have known it was a woman," he groaned, and fled. 
And that was the last we ever saw or heard of him. But it made 
a vast difference in my editorial correspondence. 


I was not satisfied, however, with setting tilings to rights and 
counseling the unhappy. Having convinced my editor-in-chief 
that I could keep his house in better order than he had been in- 
terested in doing, I became ambitious to contribute to its fur- 
nishing, to extend its field beyond matters purely Chautauquan. 
I began by offering contributions to what was called the Editor's 
Table the Editor's Note Book. I began to write articles, even 
went off on trips to gather information on subjects which seemed 
to me to be fitting. 

The first and most ambitious of these undertakings was an 
investigation made in the Patent Office in Washington of the 
amount of inventing the records showed women to have done. I 
had been disturbed for some time by what seemed to me the 
calculated belittling of the past achievements of women by many 
active in the campaign for suffrage. They agreed with their 
opponents that women had shown little or no creative power. 
That, they argued, was because man had purposely and jealously 
excluded her from his field of action. The argument was intended, 
of course, to arouse women's indignation, stir them to action. 
It seemed to me rather to throw doubt on her creative capacity. 
Power to create breaks all barriers. Women had demonstrated 
this, I believed, again and again while carrying on what I as 
an observer of society was coming to regard as the most deli- 
cate, complex, and essential of all creative tasks the making 
of a home. There was the field of invention. At the moment it 
was being said in print and on the platform that, in all the his- 
tory of the Patent Office, women had taken out only some three 
hundred patents. 

I had seen so much of woman's ingenuity on the farm and in 
the kitchen that I questioned the figures; and so I went to see, 
feeling very important if scared at my rashness in daring to 
penetrate a Government department and interview its head. I 
was able to put my finger at once on over two thousand patents, 
enough to convince me that, man-made world or not, if a woman 


had a good idea and the gumption to seek a patent she had the 
same chance as a man to get one. This was confirmed by cor- 
respondence with two or three women who at the time were taking 
out patents regularly. 

These dashes into journalism, timid and factual as were the 
results, gave my position more and more body, began slowly to 
arouse my rudimentary capacity for self-expression. At the same 
time my position was enriched by a novel feature of our under- 
taking, one that any editor of a monthly journal can appre- 
ciate. We published but ten issues, suspending in July and 
August in order to get out on the grounds at Chautauqua an 
eight-page newspaper the Chautauqua Assembly Daily Herald. 
This meant moving our Meadville staff bodily to the Lake late 
in June. 

I was soon contributing two columns of editorials a day to 
the Herald,, comments on the daily doings of the Assembly, and 
making many stimulating acquaintances in doing it. Among 
them I valued particularly Dr. Herbert B. Adams and Dr. Rich- 
ard T. Ely of Johns Hopkins University, men who were stirring 
youth and shocking the elders by liberal interpretations of his- 
tory and economics. We felt rather proud of ourselves at Chau- 
tauqua that we were liberal enough to engage Dr. Adams and 
Dr. Ely as regular lecturers and teachers, and that our con- 
stituency accepted them, if with occasional misgivings. 

It was not only the faculty of Johns Hopkins which was add- 
ing to my friends. One who remains today among those I most 
value came from its student body Dr. John H. Finley. Dr. 
Finley gave several summers to the Assembly Herald, reading 
its copy and its proofs among other things. It was he who read 
my two columns and, no doubt, kept me out of much trouble; 
but once there did slip by him a misquotation over which he 
still chuckles when we talk of Chautauqua days. I made it a 
practice to head my first column with a digest of the day's hap- 
penings a line to an event and, as a starter for the paragraph, 

Office staff of The Chautauquan, 1888: Miss Tarbell at left, 



a quotation. I had been rather pleased one day to select a line 
from James Thomson : 

The meek-eyed Morn appears, mother of dews. 

A copy of the paper was always thrown on the verandah of 
my upstairs room around five o'clock in the morning, and I 
hopped out of bed to see what had happened to my column. 
That morning something dire had happened, for my quotation 

The weak-eyed Worm appears, mother of dews. 

Eminence came from across the water annually and gave color 
and importance, so we thought, to our doings. A foreign visitor 
with whom I had a pleasant acquaintance running over some 
years was Dr. J. P. Mahaffy of the University of Dublin. Dr. 
Mahaffy had contributed a series of delightful articles to the 
required readings in The Chautauquan "Gossip About Greece" 
and in the summer of 1889 he came over for two or three 
courses of lectures at the Assembly. A distinguished figure, he 
was, and such a contrast in his tweeds, his free movements, his 
spirited wide-ranging talk to most of us. 

My acquaintance grew out of our mutual interest in the flora 
of any spot where we happened to be. One day as I came in from 
a botanizing expedition outside the grounds carrying stocks of 
the lovely field lilies common in the region, Dr. Mahaffy seized 
my arm: "You care for flowers and plants? I thought American 
women had no interest in them." A libel I quickly hooted. In 
defense of my sisterhood I went diligently to work to show him 
our summer flora. But he cared for nothing as much as our sum- 
mer lilies, begged me after the flowering was over to send him 
bulbs, which I proudly did. In exchange I received from his 
Dublin garden seeds of a white poppy which, he wrote me, he 
had originally gathered in the shadow of the statue of Memnon 


in Egypt. Those poppies have always gone with me; they flour- 
ished in my mother's garden in Titusville now they flourish 
in my Connecticut garden. 

My life was busy, varied, unfolding pleasantly in many ways, 
but it also after six years was increasingly unsatisfactory, so 
unsatisfactory that I was secretly, very secretly, meditating a 

I was scared by what The Chautauquan seemed to be doing to 
the plan I had worked out for the development of my mind. I 
had grown up with a stout determination to follow one course 
of study to the end, to develop a specialty. The work I was 
doing demanded a scattering of mind which I began to fear would 
unfit me for ever thinking anything through. I realized that an 
editor of value must have made up his mind about more things 
than had I, feel himself ready to fight for those things if neces- 
sary. I had no program in which The Chautauquan was inter- 
ested. Moreover, I did not want to be an editor. 

But to break with The Chautauquan meant sacrificing secu- 
rity. I had always had a vision of myself settled somewhere in 
a secure corner,, simple, not too large. I never had wanted things ; 
I always had a dislike of impedimenta, but I wanted something 
cheerful and warm and enduring. There I could work over that 
which interested me, day in and day out, with no alarm for my 
keep. Now The Chautauquan was a secure berth; so far as I 
could figure, it would last through my time at least. To give it 
up meant complete economic insecurity. I probably should not 
have been willing to sacrifice what I think I had honestly earned 
if there had not been growing upon me a conviction of the 
sterility of security. All about me were people who at least be- 
lieved themselves materially secure. They lived comfortably 
within their means, they were busy keeping things as they were, 
preserving what they had. They were the most respectable people 
in town, but secretly I was beginning to suspect their respect- 


One day, listening to a fine elderly Scotch Presbyterian min- 
ister who had in Ms congregation a large group of these stable, 
secure, best citizens, I was startled when he leaned over his pulpit 
and, shaking his fist at us, shouted, "You're dyin' of respect- 
ability." Was that what was happening to me? I saw with in- 
creasing clearness that I could not go beyond a certain point on 
The Chautauqwan, mentally, socially, spiritually. If I remained, 
it was to accept a variety of limitations, and my whole nature 
was against the acceptance of limitations. It was contrary to the 
nature of things as I saw them ; to be happy, I must go on with 
fresh attempts, fresh adventuring. The thing that frightened me 
earlier in my youth came to the top now : that thing that made me 
determine I would never marry because it meant giving up free- 
dom, was a trap. It was clear enough that I was trapped com- 
fortably, most pleasantly, most securely, but trapped. 

As time went on I realized that this security to which people 
so clung could not always be counted on. They might think so, 
but had I not seen beautiful homes sold under the hammer in 
Titusville, homes of those whom the town had looked on as im- 
pregnable financially? In my years on The Chautauqucm in 
Meadville I had been a shocked observer of one of the many dra- 
matic political failures of the eighties, the defeat of the Repub- 
lican candidate for Governor of Pennsylvania at a critical 
moment a Meadville banker, Wallace Delamater. I was too much 
of a mugwump to sympathize with the Republican platform, but 
I liked Wallace Delamater. I believed him, as I think the records 
show, to be a tool of a past master of machine politics Matthew 
Quay. Taken up by Quay, the resources of the Delamater bank 
and of allied banks in Meadville at the call of his party, he made 
a campaign which was called brilliant. There was no doubt of 
the result in Meadville. 

I went to bed early, the night of the election, expecting to be 
aroused by the ringing of bells, the blowing of whistles, for there 
was to be a celebration. When I awakened with a start it was 


broad daylight. Had I slept through the celebration? A sense of 
doom hung over me; I dressed hurriedly, went down to get the 
paper. Wallace Delamater was defeated. Promptly the Delamater 
bank closed and, one after another, four banks of the town fol- 
lowed. There was a heavy run on the one remaining, the one 
where I had my little deposit. The panic in the town was des- 
perate ; everything was going. I don't think I have ever been more 
ashamed of anything in my life connected with money than I was 
when I took my bank book and went to my bank to ask for my 
deposit. It was all the money I had in the world times were bad. 
But I have always continued to be a little ashamed that I yielded 
to the panic, the more because my bank didn't fail ! 

No, the security men flattered themselves they had achieved 
was never certain. Moreover, my security was costing more in 
certain precious things than I was willing to pay. Take the mat- 
ter of making something professionally sound, useful, justifiable, 
out of myself, which is the only one of these "precious things" 
that I am talking about ! I could do no more towards it where I 
was. To begin with, I at last knew what I wanted to do. It was no 
longer to seek truth with a microscope. My early absorption in 
rocks and plants had veered to as intense an interest in human 
beings. I Was feeling the same passion to understand men and 
women, the same eagerness to collect and to classify information 
about them. I find the proofs of this slow and unconscious change 
of allegiance in an accumulation of tattered notebooks tucked 
away for years, forgotten and only brought out after I had set 
myself this curious task of tracing the road I have traveled 
through my eighty years, trying to find out why I did this thing 
and not that, getting acquainted with my own working life. 

I seem to have begun to enter observations on human beings 
soon after I had settled down to learn how to put a magazine to- 
gether in an orderly fashion. I applied the same method that I 
had used for so many years in collecting and classifying natural 
objects which excited my curiosity. Take leaves, on which I was 


always keen. I started out In high school to collect them from 
all the flora in my territory, classifying them by shapes, veins, 
stalks, color. Rarely do I take up a family book of those early 
years that there do not f aE out from between the pages leaves of 
one thing or another that I had pressed to help me carry on my 
scheme of classification. I suspect that I did not get much beyond 
a glib naming of parts. 

Something analogous happened when I recognized that men 
and women were as well worth notes as leaves, that there was a 
science of society as well as of botany. 

What had happened was undoubtedly that the tumults, the 
challenges of my day had finally penetrated my aloofness, and 
that I was feeling more and more the need of taking a part in 
them. The decade I spent in Poland and on The Chautauquan had 
a background not so unlike that of the present decade. At its 
beginning we were only fifteen years from a civil war which had 
left behind not only a vast devastated region with the problem 
of its reconstruction, but the problem of a newly freed people. 
It had left bitterness which in intensity and endurance no war 
but a civil war ever leaves. We had had our inflation, a devastat- 
ing boom followed by seven years of depression, outbreaks of all 
the various forms of radical philosophy the world then knew. 
Youth talks glibly of communism today as if it had just appeared 
in the country ; but Marxian Communists transferred the head- 
quarters of the International to New York City in the seventies. 
More conspicuous than the Communists were the Anarchists. 
Every city in the United States had its little group, preaching 
and every now and then practicing direct action. Indeed, they 
were a factor in all the violent labor disturbances of the period. 

In 1879 prosperity had come back with a whoop, and, as she 
usually does after a long absence, had quickly exhausted herself 
by fantastic economic excesses. By the time I undertook to anno- 
tate the Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle's readings the 
country had begun to suffer again from its wanton speculation 


and reckless overbuilding of railroads. Factories and mines and 
mills shut down; and when work stopped disorder began, par- 
ticularly on the railroads of the Southwest, the awful massacre 
of Chinese in Wyoming more awful, the Haymarket riot in 
Chicago followed as it was by the execution of four men, all 
counselors of violence to be sure, but no one of them found guilty 
either of making or of throwing the bomb. 

The eighties dripped with blood, and men struggled to get at 
causes, to find corrections, to humanize and socialize the country ; 
for then as now there were those who dreamed of a good world 
although at times it seemed to them to be going mad. 

The Chautauquan interested itself in all of this turbulent and 
confused life. Indeed, it rapidly became my particular editorial 
concern. We noted and discussed practically every item of the 
social program which has been so steadily developing in the last 
fifty years, the items which have crystallized into the Square 
Deal, the New Freedom, the New Deal. 

The present argument for high wages, we made in the eighties. 
We called it "the new economic coefficient in our industrial life." 
"It is the well-paid workman," said The Chautauquan, "who is 
a relatively large consumer. We are built upon a foundation of 
which this well-paid workman is an important part." 

As for hours and conditions, we were ardent supporters of the 
eight-hour day, organized labor's chief aim in the eighties, and 
we were for contracts between labor and capital, each being held 
responsible for his side of the bargain. We were for - education, 
arbitration, legislation, the program of the Knights of Labor 
rather than the program of force which the growing American 
Federation of Labor was adopting. We discussed interminably 
the growing problem of the slums, were particularly strong for 
cooperative housing, laundries and bakeshops ; we supported the 
popular Town and Country Club, seeking to keep a healthy bal- 
ance between the two ; we were advocates of temperance but shied 
at prohibition largely, I think, because it had become a political 


issue, and we did not like to see our idealists going into politics, 
as Bellamy and Henry George and the leaders of many causes 
were doing. 

That is, in the decade of the eighties we were discussing and 
thinking about the same fundamentals that we are today. 

My realization of the stress of the period began at home. 
Titusville and all the Oil Region of Pennsylvania were struggling 
to loosen the hold of the mighty monopoly which, since its first 
attack on the business in 1872, had grown in power and extent 
until it owned and controlled over 90 per cent of the oil industry 
outside of the production of the raw crude. The region was di- 
vided into two hostile camps the Independent Producers and 
Refiners, and the Standard Oil Company. Their maneuvers and 
strategy kept town and country in a constant state of excitement, 
of suspicion, of hope, and of despair. 

There was a steady weakening of independent ranks both by 
the men worn out or ruined by the struggle, and those who saw 
peace and security for themselves only in settling and gave up 
the fight. 

In those days I looked with more contempt on the man who 
had gone over to the Standard than on the one who had been in 
jail. I felt pity for the latter man, but none for the deserters from 
the ranks of the fighting independents. Those were the days when 
the freeing of transportation, the privilege which had more to do 
with the making of the monopoly than anything else, more even 
than the great ability of its management, was the aim of all 
reformers. For years the Independents had worked for an inter- 
state commerce law which would make rate discrimination a crime. 
To me such a law had come to have a kind of sanctity. It was the 
new freedom, and when it was passed in 1887 I felt an uplift 
such as nothing in public life, unless I except Mr. Cleveland's 
tariff message of the year before, had ever given me. 

But it was not the economic feature of the struggle in the Oil 
Region which deeply disturbed or interested me. It was what it 


was doing to people themselves, to the people I knew, to my 
father and mother and their friends. It was the divided town, the 
suspicion and greed and bitterness and defeats and surrenders. 
Here was a product meant to be a blessing to men so I believed ; 
and it was proving a curse to the very ones who had discovered 
it, developed it. 

I began to fill pages with notes of things seen and heard, and 
finally I decided I should write a novel about it. Very secretly 
indeed, I went at it, assembling a cast, outlining a plot, writing 
two or three chapters. Poor stuff. Luckily I soon found out I was 
beyond my depth and gave it up. 

From my notebooks I judge that I abandoned my novel the 
more readily because I had conceived what I called "a more fun- 
damental research"! This was nothing less than a Science of 
Society to be illustrated by my own observations on men and 
women. Looking over it now, I see that the framework came from 
reading the voluminous discussions of the nature of society then 
flooding the public. I took my framework where I found it, but 
I filled it in with observations, gathered on all sides, of people 
I knew, heard about, particularly read about in the newspaper. 

But this ambitious work soon met the same fate as the novel. 
It broke off at the end of the third chapter because I had con- 
cluded I could not construct society as it was until I knew more 
about woman. I suspected she had played a larger part in shap- 
ing society than she realized or perhaps was willing to admit. I 
was questioning the argument that this is entirely a man-made 
world. I had found too many woman-made parts in it to accept 
the characterization at its face value. My science of society would 
not be honest, I concluded, if the only part woman was allowed 
to play in it was that of doormat, toy, and tool. I was troubled, 
too, by the argument that women must be given suffrage if soci- 
ety was to be improved. Man had made a mess of the world, I 
was told; woman must take his tools and straighten things up. 
I did not feel the confidence of my courageous friends. "Why 


should we expect them to do better with the vote than men have 
done?" I asked. "Because they are women/ 5 I was told. But they 
were human beings, like men, and they were human beings with 
no experience of the tools they wanted to use ; and I had enough 
sense of the past to believe that experience counted, and that it 
would be wise for aH men and women to consult it when they tried 
new ventures. 

There had been women in public life in the past. What had 
they done? I had to satisfy myself before I went further with my 
science of society or joined the suffragists. It was humiliating 
not to be able to make up my mind quickly about the matter, as 
most of the women I knew did. What was the matter with me, I 
asked myself, that I could not be quickly sure? Why must I per- 
sist in the slow, tiresome practice of knowing more about things 
before I had an opinion? Suppose everybody did that. What 
chance for intuition, vision, emotion, action? 

My notebooks show that I began my plodding by making out 
a list of women who seemed to offer food for reflection. The group 
that excited me most were the women of the French Revolution. 
I made little studies of several, wrote little pieces about them, and 
these little pieces I submitted to the editor of The CJiautauquan; 
he published several of them a study of Madame de Stael, of 
Marie Antoinette, of Madame Roland. But soon I became heart- 
ily ashamed of my sketches, written as they were from so meager 
an equipment. I felt this particularly about Madame Roland. I 
made up my mind that I was going to know more about this 
woman, that she probably would teach me what sort of contribu- 
tion might be expected from a woman in public life. 

That meant research. How was I to carry it on? Whatever 
studying I did depended on my ability to support myself while 
doing it; whatever studying I did while on TTie CJiautauqucm 
must be turned into something available for the magazine. My 
time and strength belonged to it. Obviously, I could not do suf- 
ficient research and continue my position ; it was as impossible as 


it had been to act as preceptress of the Poland Union Seminary 
and at the same time carry on my study with the microscope. 
Where was I to carry on this research? There was but one place 
Paris. And how was I to finance myself in Paris a strange 
country and a strange tongue long enough to write a book? 
I did not consider the possibility of getting a regular job: I did 
not want one. I wanted freedom, and I had an idea that there 
was no freedom in belonging to things, no freedom in security. 
It took time to convince myself that I dared go on my own. But 
finally I succeeded. 

Coming to a decision has a loosening, tonic effect on a mind 
which has been floundering in uncertainty. Liberated, it rushes 
gaily, hopefully, to the charting of a new course. I had no sooner 
resolved to strike out on my own than my mind was bubbling with 
plans. I forgot that I was thirty-three years old and, according 
to the code of my time and my society, too old for new ventures ; 
I forgot that outside of my very limited experience on The 
Chautauquan I knew nothing of the writing and publishing 
world, had literally no acquaintance among editors ; I forgot that 
I was afraid of people, believed them all so much greater and 
more important than they often turned out to be that it cost me 
nervous chills to venture with a request into a stranger's presence. 

Dismissing all these real handicaps, I plunged gaily into plan- 
ning for a career in journalism, self -directed, free-lance journal- 
ism. Surely I could find subjects enough in Paris to write about, 
subjects that would interest American newspapers. We were in 
the thick of a great agitation over the condition and the conduct 
of American cities. The Chautauquan had touched it occasion- 
ally. How did Paris keep house? I planned a syndicate of my 
own which would answer all questions. Out of my newspaper 
work might not articles grow for magazines? I thought so, and 
books, beginning of course with my study of Madame Roland. 
So long as I told nobody about my plans, they worked beauti- 
fully, carried me upward and onward into a new and happier, 


more profitable, more satisfying world. But when I announced 
my decision, laid out what I proposed to do, all the glow and 
confidence went out of me, all the weaknesses in my venture came 
again to the top. There were friends who said none too politely: 
"Remember you are past thirty. Women don't make new places 
for themselves after thirty." There were friends who resented my 
decision as a reflection on themselves. A woman whose friendship 
I valued said bluntly : "You are one of us. Aren't we good enough 
for you?" My act was treason in her eyes. The whole force of the 
respectable circles to which I belonged, that respectable circle 
which knew as I did not the value of security won, the slender 
chance of replacing it if lost or abandoned, was against me and 
so out of friendliness. 

When I told my editor-in-chief I was leaving, going to Paris 
to study, he was shocked. "How will you support yourself?" he 
asked, really anxious, knowing that I must depend on my own 

"By writing," I said. 

"You're not a writer," he said. "You'll starve." 

He had touched the weakest point in my venture: I was not 
a writer, and I knew it. I knew I never should be one in the high 
sense which I then and still more now give to that word. I had 
neither the endowment nor the passion nor the ambition to be a 
writer. I was rather a student, wanting to understand things 
quite regardless of how I could use that understanding if I 
reached it. There was much selfishness in my wanting to know 
for the sake of knowing, much of a dead scholar in me ; and that 
dead scholar has always hung, more or less a weight, about my 

But if I was not a writer I had certain qualifications for the 
practice of the modest kind of journalism on which I had decided. 
I counted no little on my habit of planning in advance what I 
was going to do, and I had a strong conviction that a plan of 
my own was worth more than any plan which was made for me. 


Again, if I could not write, I did have a certain sense of what 
mattered in a subject and a strong conviction that it was my 
sense of what mattered, and not somebody else's, that would give 
my work freshness and strength if it was to have any. 

Then there was my habit of steady, painstaking work that 
ought to count for something. And perhaps I could learn to 
write. If I were to do so, could I do better than soak myself in 
French prose? I had read French steadily from my school days; 
I had done not a little translating of articles from the big reviews 
for The Chautauquan. If I could live with the language, might I 
not master something of what seemed to me its essential quali- 
ties, those which gave it both body and charm? These qualities 
were the soundness of structure, the way it held together, and 
the beautiful clarity of expression. At least I could try for them. 

But when I tried to explain all this to my critical friends they 
continued frankly skeptical, indignant. It was my father and 
mother who backed me up, though I think they were both puzzled 
and fearful. "I don't know what you can do, Ida," my father 
said, "that's for you. If you think you can do it, try it." But in 
the end it took all the grit I had to go ahead. 

Breaking up established relations is not easy. You begin by 
pulling up deeply rooted things, rooted in your heart; you 
abandon once cherished purposes. When I left The Chautauquan 
I was no longer the eager and confident young woman who ten 
years before had started out for herself in Poland, Ohio; I was 
ten years older, and I was keenly conscious that I had in those 
ten years accumulated a fairly complete collection of shattered 
idols. That I could forget them as quickly and as completely as 
I did, I owe to the Paris of the nineties. I had scarcely passed her 
gates before I had fallen under her spell. At once I was experi- 
encing all the amazing rejuvenation that comes from falling in 
love, whatever the object. It was not to be "See Paris and die," as 
more than one friend had jeered. I knew with certainty it was 
to be "See Paris and live." 


in love with Paris at first sight a coup d>e feu, it was 
in no way dimmed the energy and the care with which on the day 
of my arrival I began to put into operation the cautious and 
laborious Plan for self-support I had brought along. It rather 
intensified it. As I must begin at the bottom to build up contacts 
with strangers on the other side of the ocean, and as there was 
but $150 in my pocket, there was no time to waste. 

In the ten years I had been trying to support myself I had 
learned that the art of spending money is quite as important in 
a sound financial program as the art of earning it. I had been 
going on the theory, as I still am practice is another story 
that what I earned must cover my expenses and leave a surplus 
for emergencies and expansion. I had applied my principles to 
my small salary on The Chautauquan never over $100 a month 
well enough to get myself to Paris and have this little reserve 
to care for myself while I was proving or disproving that I could 
convince a few American editors whom I had never seen that my 
goods were worth buying. 

The first step, obviously, in carrying out my program was 
cheap living. Luckily for me, two of my associates on The Chau- 
tauquariy excited by my undertaking, had decided to join me. 
One, Josephine Henderson, was a friend of Titusville days and 
like myself a graduate of Allegheny College. Jo, as we called her, 
was a handsome woman with a humorous look on life healthy 
for me. I have never had a friend who judged my balloons more 
shrewdly or pricked them so painlessly. With us was a beautiful 
girl, Mary Henry, the daughter of one of the militant W.C.T.U. 
workers of that day, a neighbor and a friend as well as a co- 



worker of the great temperance leader Frances Willard. At the 
steamer a friend of Mary's appeared, announcing that she, too, 
was going along. This meant four of us to share rent and food. 

Back in TitusviUe I had picked on the Latin Quarter as at once 
the cheapest and the most practical place in Paris for one to 
live who must go on the cheap. Then, too, the University was in 
the Latin Quarter, and we were all planning to take lectures. I 
was even flirting with the idea that I might find time to take a 

So on arrival, putting our bags in the little room of the cheap 
hotel on the Right Bank to which we had gone, we headed at 
once for the Latin Quarter. I had picked on the neighborhood 
where I wanted to settle, near the Musee de Cluny. Not that I 
knew a thing about the Musee or what was in it ; simply Cluny 
was one of the words that had always pulled me. This magic was 
largely responsible for our settling in the Rue du Sommerard 
almost next door to the spot in the city which save one was to 
have the greatest fascination as well as the deepest consolation 
for me. 

But finding these quarters was no easy task. My friends gulped 
as I did at the stuffiness, the dinginess, the primitive sanitation, 
the obvious fleas, and the suspicion of other unmentionable pests 
in the places at which we looked. But settle I would, and so with 
groans they consented finally to the taking of two tiny bedrooms, 
a salon, along with the use of a kitchenette in one of the four 
apartments controlled by a Madame Bonnet. Our selection was 
not as unwise as it looked at the moment. Indeed, as it turned out, 
Madame Bonnet remained my landlady throughout the coming 
three years. 

As quickly as we had found our lodging we established rela- 
tions with the little shops in the neighborhood where one could 
for a few sous buy all the makings of a meal. You bought exactly 
what you needed and no more a single egg, one roll or croissant, 
a gill of milk, two cups apiece of cafe au lait, never having a drop 


left in the pot. Brought up as we had all been at loaded tables, 
the close calculation shocked us at first as something mean, stingy. 
"Why, the very scraps from a meal at home would feed us here." 
And that was true more shame to our bringing up. But we 
learned to buy as our thrifty neighbors did and to like it, and 
we learned how to order at the cheap and orderly little restaurants 
of the Quarter so as to get a sufficient meal of really excellent 
food for a franc (then nineteen cents or, as we carelessly reck- 
oned it, twenty one hundred centimes to a franc). Only on 
grand occasions did we allow ourselves two francs. 

The pleasantest and most profitable part of the experience was 
the acquaintances we made with the women who kept the little 
shops, the little restaurants. As soon as they were convinced of 
our financial responsibility and our social seriousness, they be- 
came friendly a friendliness not based on the few sous we were 
spending so carefully but on interest and curiosity. We were new 
types to them; but, once convinced we were what we pretended 
to be, they treated us with a deference quite different from the 
noisy greetings they gave the people of the neighborhood or their 
rather contemptuous familiarity with the occasional cocotte who 
strayed in. That is, we were very soon placed by the shopkeepers 
of the vicinity. It was my first lesson in the skill, almost artistry 
with which all classes of the French people classify those with 
whom they are thrown in contact, notably foreigners. Later I was 
to observe this in the more highly developed classes where I 
established professional relationship. 

I was a stranger seeking information an American journalist, 
a student, so I told them. But what kind of person was I? What 
was there in me they could tie to, depend upon? 

Obviously I was not rich. If I had been, there would have been 
quickly gathered around me a group to offer entertainment as 
well as treasures to buy ; but it was clear I had little money, so 
that was out of the question. There are other things by which 
the French label you, a woman particularly charm, beauty, chic, 


I'esprit, seriousness, capacity to work, intelligence, b.onte. Those 
with whom I had dealings for any length of time hit perfectly 
on my chief asset. I was a worker. "A femme travailleuse," they 
said to one another, and if they passed me to an acquaintance 
that was the recommendation. No people believe more than the 
French in the value and dignity in hard work. I was treated 
with respect because of my working quality. It was not saying 
that I should not have gone farther and faster if I had been a 
beauty, if I had had what they call charm and the fine secret 
of using it, but they were willing to take me for what I had. Being 
a worker, the chances were I was serious. I might or might not 
prove intelligent, but here they gave me the benefit of the doubt 
and waited for a final answer. That which they were slowest in 
making up their minds about was goodness bonte. They were 
not willing to accept anything but natural unconscious goodness, 
and it takes time to make sure about that. 

While we were finding our way about, I was at work. If I did 
not have the documents to prove it I would not believe today 
that just a week after arriving, and in spite of the excitement and 
fatigue of settling, I had written and mailed two newspaper 

Enamored as I was of the city, no work could have been 
more satisfying than that I had laid out for myself. My little 
self -directed syndicate concerned itself with the practical every- 
day life of the city. One is always keen to know all the common 
things about the thing or person one loves. How did Paris keep 
herself so clean? What did she eat and drink, and where did she 
get it? How much did it cost her? Where did she go for fun? 
How did she manage it that even her very poor seemed to know 
how to amuse themselves, that her beggars were a recognized 
institution? There were a multitude of things I thirsted to know 
about her. And if I could get my bread and butter in finding out, 
what luck ! What luck ! 

At once I became an omnivorous reader of the newspapers, and 


I found to my joy that many of them felt as I did about the 
Parisian scene. They carried paragraphs as captivating as those 
that our New Y or Jeer unearths for its fascinating editorial de- 
partment on the city to which it belongs. Another discovery which 
surprised me was that my best source for illustration was the 
illustrated catalogues of the French Salons of recent years. I 
wanted pictures of markets, of rivers, of beggars, of marriages, 
of all the things that people were doing as they went about their 
business. And what rejoiced me was that many French artists 
seemed to love the streets and what went on there in much the 
same way that I did. They loved to see Paris at her daily toil^ 
meeting her daily problems, and every year they turned out pic- 
tures showing her at it. 

Later I was to discover that this daily life of the Parisians of 
different classes has always been material for able artists. The 
best illustrations I found for my Madame Roland in her youth 
were those of Chardin in the Louvre. 

My manner of living, the contacts and circumstances attend- 
ing the gathering of my material for my newspaper articles 
brought me for the first time in my life into daily relations with 
that greatest segment of every country's population those whom 
we call the poor, and of whom if we are well-to-do or if we are 
rich we are so curiously unconscious. I had belonged all my con- 
scious life to the well-to-do, those who spent a dollar without 
seriously weighing it. Society had seemed to me to be chiefly 
made up of such people. Of course there were the rich, but they 
were so few in number as to be negligible at least they had never 
counted in my life; nor had the poor counted as a permanent 
class. I had the American notion that the chief economic duty 
of the poor was to become well-to-do. The laborer, the clerk, the 
man who worked for others should save his money, put it into 
the business, or start out for himself, no matter how hard, how 
meager the return. Dignity and success lay in being your own 
master, owning your own home I am sure my father would 


rather have grubbed corn meal and bacon from a piece of stony 
land which was his own than have had all the luxuries on a sal- 
ary. One of his complaints against the great oil trust was that 
it was turning the men of the Oil Region into hired men mighty 
prosperous hired men, some of them, but nevertheless taking or- 
ders, even orders as to what to say, for whom to vote. 

To his way of thinking this was failure for an American. I 
suspect his philosophy working in me was at least partially re- 
sponsible for my revolt against the kind of security I had achieved 
on The Chautauquan. 1 was a hired girl. 

But in the society where I found myself in Paris there was 
no such contempt for the fixed job. On the contrary, it was some- 
thing for which you were responsible, to which you owed an 
obligation. Serious workers in Paris seemed to me to give to the 
job the same kind of loyalty that serious men and women in 
America gave to the businesses they owned. You respected your- 
self and were respected in proportion to your fidelity to it. You 
might be advanced, but more probably not. Opportunity did not 
grow on every bush as at home, and if it came a Frenchman's 
way he weighed it at home you seized it, trusting to luck. Here 
luck seemed to me to have little or no standing in a business 
enterprise, big as it counted in the lotteries in which everybody 
took part. To my surprise I found these people, working so busily 
and constantly, were not restless like the Americans; nor were 
they generally envious. I had a feeling that my concierge, who 
never had been across the Seine to the Right Bank, who lived 
in a room almost filled by her huge bed and its great feather 
puffs, who must have looked long at a sou before she spent it, 
would not have changed places with anybody in Paris. Were not 
the lodgers on whom she kept so strict a watch kind, generous, 
and regular with fees ? Had she not friends in the street ? Might 
she not win a slice of a fortune one day from the fraction of a 
lottery ticket which she annually found a way to buy? And who 


had so magnificent a cat? The pride of the House. What more 
could she ask? 

Certainly there was more interest in the tasks, less restlessness, 
less envy, than in the same class in America. Was it my father's 
philosophy which made the difference? Was it your duty if you 
were poor to struggle to be well-to-do, and if well-to-do struggle 
to be rich? It meant you were always trying to be somebody else. 
If it was your duty to be discontented, could you escape envy? 
Was it not necessary, if you were to keep yourself up to the 
effort, to feed yourself on envy as in war men must be fed on 
hate if they are to kill with vigor and gusto ? 

It was too much to believe that the content, the fidelity to the 
job were universal. Nevertheless, it was sufficient to cement the 
laborious poor into a powerful and recognized class, a class with 
traditions, customs, recognized relations to other classes, having 
its own manner of homes, amusements, worship; a class self-re- 
specting, jealous of its prerogatives, and able in need to protect 

But the multitude of hard-working and fairly satisfied men 
and women were not all the poor with whom I came close. There 
were those who could find no work; there were many of them, 
for the long world depression of the nineties was on its way. 
The winter of '91 and '92 was a cruel one, and the museums, 
libraries, lecture rooms, churches where I went about my daily 
duties were swarmed with poor souls trying to deceive the guard- 
ians into thinking that they had come to study pictures, read 
books, listen to lectures, to confess their sins or listen to mass. 
The guardians only saw them when they became a crowd or 
attempted to camp for the day. Most pathetic to me were their 
efforts to make furtive toilets, taking a comb from a pocket to 
smooth tangled hair, scissors to cut the fringe from a fraye,d cuff. 

There were soup kitchens to keep them from starving, though 
many a one starved or froze or ended his misery in the Seine 


that winter. At one of these kitchens I officiated for a brief time. 
It was run by the McAll Mission in the Faubourg Saint- Antoine. 
I was not there as a Samaritan but as a reporter looking for 
copy. What could I do for them but tell Americans what a few 
Americans were doing in Paris to ease the vast misery ? It might 
bring a few sous for soup. I believe it did. 

But they pulled less strongly on my sympathy than a class 
of the poor which I found to be in our Quarter men and women 
no longer young, past the employing age, who lived alone on 
tiny incomes, sometimes the fruit of their own past thrift, some- 
times an inheritance, again the gift of a friend. I watched and 
speculated about how they did it, the more seriously because I 
asked myself if the day might be coming when I should belong 
to this class. If I ever did, I hoped I could carry it off with as 
much dignity as the one called the Countess on our street. She 
lived sous les toils in a high house opposite me, a tall, erect, white- 
haired woman in a gown and cape of faded and patched silk 
which still showed its quality as did its wearer. More than once 
I watched her stop late at night at the garbage can on the side- 
walk opposite, turning over its contents. Many of the tradespeo- 
ple seemed to feel that she honored them when she came in to 
buy an occasional egg or apple. She was so gracious, so com- 
pletely grande dame. One day I heard the woman from whom I 
bought my cafe au lait say: "Will not Madame honor me by 
trying my coffee? It is still hot." She was pouring out a cup 
as she said it, and the Countess with a benignant smile said, "If 
that will give you pleasure, my good Marie." She needed it. 
Marie knew that, but Marie was more than paid by that smile. 
"It is a great honor," she told me lest, being a foreigner, I did 
not understand the Countess, "to have so great a lady come into 
one's shop." There it was again, another standard than money, 
the standard of class, breeding, cultivation, the grand manner. 

The more I saw of the gallant poor of Paris, the more con- 
vinced I was if they could get on so could I, learning to live on 


what I could make. And I was going to make something. My 
doubt about that was set at rest some six weeks after my arrival 
when I received a check for my first syndicate article $5.00. 
It was quickly followed by checks from two more of the six 
papers to which I had submitted my syndicate proposition 50 
per cent was not a bad percentage and they were good papers, 
the Pittsburgh Dispatch* the Cincinnati Times-Star and the Chi- 
cago Tribune. These three papers remained faithful to me until 
the election of 1892 compelled them to give all their space to 
politics, so they explained. I believed them, for they had all writ- 
ten me kind letters about my stuff and the Times-Star, unsolicited, 
raised my pay to $7.50 ! 

Then the unbelievable happened. In December, a little less 
than three months after my arrival in Paris, Scribner's Maga- 
zine accepted a story a grand Christmas present indeed, that 
news. Fiction was not in the Plan, but one of the first pieces of 
work that I did after arriving in Paris was a story born of a 
delightful relationship with an old French dyer of Titusville, 
Monsieur Claude. As soon as I had finally determined that I 
would burn all bridges and go to Paris for study, I had set 
about my preparation in thorough fashion. There was the lan- 
guage. I had read it fluently for years but speak it? No. Could 
I master enough in the few months I had before sailing to find 
my way about? If so, I must have some one to talk with. The 
best the town afforded was Monsieur Claude and his mouselike 
wife. They were flattered by my request. Three times a week I 
went, and we talked and studied until they both were sure I 
could make myself understood in common matters. In this de- 
lightful association I discovered that the passion of Monsieur 
Claude, the longing of his heart, was to see France before he 
died. He had insisted that I learn and almost daily repeat 
Beranger's "France Adoree." Once in Paris, I understood him, 
wrote his story, sent it a trial balloon to Scribner 9 s Magazine. 

The selection was made on a principle which young writers too 


rarely consider when they attempt to place their wares, and that 
is understanding of the tastes and prejudices and hobbies of pe- 
riodicals. Useless in 1890 to send a story on "France Adoree" to 
a magazine which was interested purely and simply in realistic 
literature ; but the inexperienced writer frequently does not realize 
that. Naturally I had learned in my work on The Chautauquan 
something of the pet interests of the leading publishing houses, 
I knew that Scribner's enjoyed French cultivation, French char- 
acter, French history. I hoped my sentimental title "France 
Adoree" would not antagonize the editor of Scribner's Magazine. 

But I had expected nothing from it, being in that state of 
mind where I had ceased to expect, only to accept. So that when 
I received a friendly letter from Mr. Burlingame, the editor of 
the magazine, saying that he liked the story, that he accepted it, 
I felt as one must who suddenly draws a fortune in the sweep- 

In due time a check for $100 arrived. What excitement in our 
little salon when I showed my companions that check! "Now, 55 
declared our beautiful Mary, "we can move to the Champs 
Elysees." And she would have done it, for she was one of those 
who always see spring in a single sparrow. We stayed where 
we were, I requiring a whole flock of sparrows to convince me 
that it was spring* 

The influence of the story on my fortunes was all out of pro- 
portion to its value. Most important was the courage it gave me. 
If I, a stranger, could do something that a great editor of a 
great magazine thought good enough to accept, why, after all, 
I might work it out. That which moved me most deeply, gave me 
joy that made me weep, was that now I should have something 
to show to my family. I had felt a deserter. Times were hard in 
the Titusville household in these early nineties. My father's and 
brother's experiences in the oil business of which I want to 
speak later were more than discouraging ; they were alarming. 
My sister was ill and in the hospital; my mother's letters were 


saturated with anxiety. And here was I the eldest child in 
the family, a woman of years and of some experience, who had 
been given an education, whose social philosophy demanded that 
she do her part in working out family problems here was I 
across the ocean writing picayune pieces at a fourth of a cent 
a word while they struggled there. I felt guilty, and the only 
way I had kept myself up to what I had undertaken was the 
hope that I could eventually make a substantial return. If any 
one of the family felt that I should have been at home there never 
was a hint of it. From them I had unwavering sympathy and 
encouragement . 

But if in three months 9 time I could do what I had done, and I 
made the most of it in my letters home, why, then they would see 
some hope for the future. Not only would the story help them 
to believe in me, it would give something more imposing to show 
to inquiring friends than the newspaper articles which had been 
their only exhibit. 

When the story appeared in the following spring the reverbera- 
tions in my Paris circle were encouraging and useful. I even 
heard of it from "the other side," as we called the Right Bank, 
for Theodore Stanton (at that time the head of the Associated 
Press in Paris) came with Mrs. Stanton to call on me and tell 
me he liked the story. 

The most important fruit was that Mr. Burlingame looked 
me up when he made his annual spring visit to Europe. Here 
was my chance to tell him about Madame Roland, to ask if 
he thought his house would be interested in such a biography if 
it turned out to be a good piece of work. "The suggestion would 
have to be considered in New York," he replied. But he promised 
me it would be considered. And it was, for not long afterwards 
he wrote me that the house was interested in my project, cer- 
tainly wanted to see the manuscript. 

This was enough to settle finally a struggle that had tormented 
me for many weeks. I had come to Paris determined to fit myself 


for magazine work along historical and biographical lines; but 
once close to the world of the scholar, surrounded by men and 
a few women who lived stern, self-denying lives in order to mas- 
ter a field however small I was seized with an ambition to be a 
scholar. It was a throwback to my old passion for the microscope. 
I would specialize in the French Revolution I would become a 

But Mr. Burlingame's answer to my inquiry as to whether the 
Scribner company would be friendly to a biographical study of 
my lady settled the matter; which shows, I take it, how shallow 
my scholarly ambitions really were. 

The Scribner connection was not the only one putting heart 
into me. Among my early trial balloons was one marked for 
McClure's Syndicate, New York City. It carried an article of 
two thousand words with a catchy title "The King of Paris" 
cribbed from a French newspaper. It was the story of Jean 
Alphand and his services to the city. The balloon reached its 
destination. The article was promptly accepted with a promise 
of $10 when it was published, also a suggestion that they would 
be glad to consider other subjects if I had them to offer which 
I did. Indeed, I gave them no time to forget me ; not that they 
took all I hustled across the Atlantic, but they took enough to 
make me feel that this might be a stable and prosperous market 
for short and timely articles. When suggestions finally began 
to come from them I felt the ground firmer on my feet. One of 
these suggestions led me into an especially attractive new field, 
and in the long run had important bearing on my major interest, 
Madame Roland. It was that I try a series of sketches of French 
women writers. There was a respectable group of them, and I 
asked nothing better than to look them up. 

I began with a woman who at that time was introducing lead- 
ing contemporary English and American writers to the French 
through the Revue des deux Mondes Madame Blanc, her pen 
name Theodore Bentzon, a person of rare distinction and of 

IX LOVE 101 

gallant soul. She had been a lady in waiting at Napoleon Ill's 
court, had made an unfortunate marriage, was now living on a 
small income and what she could earn by writing. In her salon 
there was a portrait taken in her young womanhood which 
charmed me, but when I spoke of it she shook her head as if she 
did not want to remember it. "Une f emme qui n'existe plus," she 

Hard worker as Madame Blanc was, she found time to start 
me on my rounds among the French women writers. I doubt if 
there was an American writer of our day who would have had 
both the kindness of heart and the sureness of herself to take so 
much trouble for an unknown woman. She started me off, and I 
turned out ten or a dozen little pieces before I was through. 
With one of my subjects I had an amusing flirtation I think I 
may call it a flirtation. This was Madame Dieulafoy who with 
her husband had done eminent work in archaeology, and who 
had a roomful of exhibits in the Louvre to her credit a very 
great person indeed. Madame Dieulafoy was the only woman I 
had ever seen at that time who wore men's clothes. It had been 
found necessary to put her into trousers for excavating work, 
and she liked them so well and Monsieur Dieulafoy loved her so 
in them that they had obtained permission from the French 
Government for her to wear them in Paris. From more than one 
source I heard of the sensation she created among servants when 
she came to call. They abandoned their duties to peep from dark 
places at the woman in men's clothes. 

Madame Dieulafoy and I grew friendly over the history of the 
exploits of women in the world, and it took no time at all for me 
to decide to write the history of women from Eve up, as if I had 
not already enough on my hands. She applauded my idea, gave 
me many suggestions, but it never went any further than my 
few visits, which as I say were more or less flirtations. She was 
such a pretty little man, so immaculate (the best tailors in Paris 
did her, I was told), that I could not keep admiring eyes off 


her. She used her eyes, too, and loved to pat me on the knee, 
partly I suppose because I always blushed when she did it. It 
was an amusing acquaintance and a profitable one to me, for she 
was as interested in my plans for articles as if I had been one 
of her own. 

Another woman who interested me greatly was Judith Gautier. 
My interest was stirred by my indignation that her name had 
been left off the list of living women distinguished in French 
literature sent to the Chicago Exposition of 1898. There was 
much speculation among my friends as to how it happened. My 
own conclusion was that it was because of her long and impas- 
sioned devotion to the music of Richard Wagner. 

The first Wagner opera to be given in Paris was "Tannhau- 
ser." This was in the early sixties, when Judith Gautier was 
about fourteen years old. She went to the opera with her father 
Theophile Gautier and was enthusiastic although the house 
received it coldly. As they were walking home a little fellow with 
hollow cheeks, eagle nose, and very bright eyes joined them. He 
rejoiced with cheerful violence over the failure of the opera. The 
girl, angered, forgot her manners and blurted out, "It is clear, 
sir, that you know you have heard a masterpiece, and that you 
are talking of a rival." 

"Do you know who that was, saucebox?" her delighted father 
asked as they passed on. 

"No, who?" 

"Hector Berlioz." 

It was the beginning of a lifelong devotion. Wagner was to 
her not only the master musician but a species of divinity. In 
188S she published a volume on him valuable for its remi- 

Early in the winter of 1892 "Lohengrin" was announced for 
the season of Grand Opera. I was amazed at the loud and bitter 
protests. Among the few lovers of Wagner who had courage to 
come to the defense of the master was Judith Gautier. She was 


abused for it. As this was my first realization that political 
hatred ever influences the judgment in matters of art, I took 
the incident very much to heart. I could understand why people 
might dislike Wagnerian music, but that the soldiers should be 
called out to protect the Opera House when one of his greatest 
works was to be given shocked me. You could then so hate an 
enemy that beauty herself was outraged ! 

It was easy for me to conclude that Judith Gautier's name 
had been left off the list of writing women sent to the Chicago 
Exposition because the committee wanted to punish her for 
defending the works of a great artist in whom she profoundly 

The opening up of opportunities so much more quickly than 
I had dared dream spurred me to longer and harder hours at 
work. There were few mornings that I was not at my desk at 
eight o'clock; there were few nights that I went to bed before 
midnight, and there was real drudgery in making legible copy 
after my article was written. It was all done by longhand care- 
ful and painstaking handwriting, it was. I was to find later that 
Mr. McClure's partner in the Syndicate, Mr. J. S. Phillips, try- 
ing to estimate the possibilities in this correspondent bombard- 
ing them with articles and suggestions, set me down from my 
handwriting as a middle-aged New England schoolteacher. 

But if life was hard and life was meager, and if down at the 
bottom of my heart it was continuously in question to which class 
of the poor I would finally belong, life to my surprise was taking 
on a varied pattern very different from the drab existence of 
hard work and self-denial that I had planned and was prepared 
to endure to the end. It began at the Rue du Sommerard, where 
at the outset we stumbled on what turned out to be the most 
colorful, unusual, and frequently perplexing association that had 
ever come the way of any one of us. 

When we took our rooms from Madame Bonnet she had told 
us that one room in the apartment was reserved for an Egyptian 


Prince who came only for the week ends. He was bien comme il 
faut, tres ricJu 9 tres everything desirable. He would not disturb 
us, we might never see him. Upon inquiry we discovered that all 
Madame Bonnet's rooms save those we were taking were occupied 
by Egyptian students of law or medicine or diplomacy. The 
Prince, himself, a cousin of the Khedive, was in the military 
school at Saint-Cyr. He kept a room at Madame Bonnet's to 
spend an occasional holiday or Sunday with his compatriots, all 
of his age and all of the upper classes. 

We all shared the American flutter over titles, and when we 
caught a first glimpse of the Prince and his friends we were 
still more excited. They were quite the most elegant-looking 
male specimens so far as manners and clothes went that any one 
of us had ever seen. Here was more in the way of flavor than we 
had bargained for. We had come to study the French and had 
dropped into an Egyptian colony. 

We soon discovered that they were as curious about us as we 
were about them, for hardly were we settled when Madame Bon- 
net came to say that the messieurs were all in her salon. Wouldn't 
we come in and make their acquaintance? Of course we went. 
They wanted us to dance. Now it was Sunday, and we had all 
been brought up under the Methodist discipline. Sunday was a 
day of rest and worship and no play, no amusement of any kind. 
In my household at least I was supposed to play only hymns on 
the piano as we were supposed to read only religious books. My 
mother and I compromised at last on Gottschalk's "Last Hope" ; 
she, being moved by the story of its composition, thought that 
it must be religious, but "Martha" and "Poet and Peasant," my 
two other show pieces, were forbidden. 

Indeed, when I was forty years old my father, catching me 
reading a volume of a certain Congressional trust investigation 
on a Sunday afternoon, reproved me in his gentle way. "You 
shouldn't read that on Sunday, Ida." I quickly exchanged it for 


"Pilgrim's Progress," which is not without suggestion for a stu- 
dent of the trust. 

My young companions were particularly shocked at the Egyp- 
tians 5 invitation to dance. I think it had never occurred to them 
that all people did not keep Sunday. "No," we said a little se- 
verely, "we don't dance on Sunday." I had the satisfaction of 
hearing them whisper soberly to one another, "tres religieuses" 
It was just as well, I thought, they should have that idea to 
start with; better than starting with the degree of intimacy 
they might see in our dancing in their landlady's salon on a first 

But we had what was for us an exciting evening, and when 
we left and they all begged "Come again" we promised that we 

It was the beginning of a weekly party. Madame Bonnet gave 
the Egyptians their dinners. We agreed to take dinners once a 
week with her. We couldn't afford more, and besides we wanted 
to be on the safe side in our relations. There must be no question 
in their minds about our entire respectability respectability 
as we understood it. What interested me particularly was that 
at once they wanted to understand our conventions, social and 
religious and political. Nothing disturbed them more, I found, 
than a feeling that perhaps they had not quite understood, that 
unintentionally they had infringed on our customs. Once con- 
vinced of this, we could go with entire freedom to our weekly 
Egyptian evenings. As I recall them they were happy evenings 
much like children's parties at home, for the Egyptians loved 
games, tricks, charades, play of any sort. They laughed and 
shouted and, if something went wrong, flew into a rage like 

The meat of the connection was the talk which sometimes ran 
far into the night. All of these young men were in training for 
some kind of professional or official position. Two or three of 


them had taken from three to four years at German gymnasia 
or English universities. All of them spoke three or four languages. 
The Prince's English was perfect 9 and no one of us could ever 
hope to approach the French of the group, learned for the most 
part in Switzerland as children. They had much more curiosity 
and real information about the social customs of other countries 
than we had. They were eager to know all about our ways, par- 
ticularly the life of women, their relation to men before and after 

There were would-be reformers of Egyptian marriage customs 
among them; especially did they resent the convention which 
prevented them looking at the face of the bride before the mar- 
riage ceremony. One of the group had made a vow never to marry 
as long as that custom existed and was urging his compatriots 
to join him. Nearly all of them insisted that they would never 
marry more than one woman. They asked with a frankness 
startling to our ears about the way monogamy worked in the 
United States. They were curious to know the position of the 
mistress, and when we were shocked and insisted that a good 
man never had a mistress they were frankly incredulous. It would 
never work out, they insisted. One wife they understood; but 
one wife and no mistress seemed entirely impractical. 

Politics interested them profoundly. Particularly did they hate 
England how deeply and bitterly I did not realize until in 
January of ? 92 news of the death of the Khedive, Tewfik Pasha 
son of Ismail Pasha, great-grandson of Mehemet Ali, came to 
the Rue du Sommerard. Madame Bonnet came in at once to tell 
us how sorrowful our friends were and to ask that we dine with 
them that night. We found them very grave. "He was a good 
man," they insisted, "our friend." What was going to happen 
now? I took it they feared changes in government which might 
make their own futures uncertain. They were uneasy, frightened 
and wanted us to understand the reason behind their anxiety. 

After dinner a large number of their compatriots filed into 


the room. We were begged to stay. They evidently wanted us to 
understand better their suspicion of what England might do in 
this crisis. The longer the tali, the more bitter they grew. 

"Down with England !" they began to cry. 

Indignation and enthusiasm are qualities as contagious as 
disease. Before I realized it, I shared their anger and was drink- 
ing repeatedly in I'eau sucree good Mohammedans that our 
Egyptians were, they never touched wine drinking repeatedly 
to loud and angry roars of "A bas PAngleterre !" 

The Egyptians were not only a picturesque and enlivening 
feature in our life : they had a social value which they never sus- 
pected. We used them rather shamelessly to impress wandering 
Americans who looked with badly concealed scorn on the Latin 
Quarter and particularly on our narrow and stuffy rooms. "A 
Prince was our neighbor," we said loftily, and to prove it we 
could show an autographed photograph which the Prince on 
his own notion had given me. I kept it on the mantel in the little 
salon. When we felt particular need of asserting ourselves we 
told of our weekly dinners and they lost nothing of their gaiety 
and interest in our telling. There was so much more flavor in 
them, we always assured those who tried to high-hat us, than 
ordinary sight-seeing offered ! 

I have always felt rather proud of the way we handled our- 
selves in that year, keeping the entire respect of our Egyptians. 
It was not always so easy. It fell into my awkward hands to 
handle one rather violent love affair. A pretty and vivacious 
young girl had joined our party at the request of her brother: 
"Will you look after her?" The Egyptians were delighted with 
her, and she treated them as she might a group of American boys, 
could see no reason why she should not go out with them. Only 
our combined disapproval, our insistence that if she did she soon 
would be classed in the Quarter as little better than the gay little 
girls who swarmed about, and with whom we occasionally out of 
the corner of our eyes saw our Egyptians: she must not run that 


risk. But while that was managed the inevitable stir of youth 
could not be managed, and it was not long before I had one of 
the nicest of the boys begging me on his knees to let him pay his 
addresses to my little friend, insisting that he would marry her, 
never take another wife. He wept and pleaded, but I held my 
ground until finally the young girl who loved his suit but not the 
boy was safely on the ocean. 

A long time afterwards I had proof that we did look after 
ourselves. When a couple of our party were going to Italy one 
of these young men gave them a letter of introduction to an 
Egyptian friend in Milan. The letter was not presented, and not 
opened until two or three years later, when my friend showed 
me the postscript. It read: "Surtout soyez convenable avec ces 
dames. 55 

After the Egyptians came our French professor, a woman of 
forty, buxom, competent, gay-hearted, an able teacher. I have 
never known man or woman more shrewd in gauging character 
or more expert in turning the qualities she found to her own 
advantage. If she respected or admired them she took no more 
than she gave frequently, as in my case, much less. But if she 
found a pupil lazy or dishonest or stingy or rich and irrespon- 
sible, she took mercilessly. "Such people deserve nothing noth- 
ing," she declared once when I protested. 

She respected me because I worked, but she always told me 
frankly that although I read French easily and wrote it pas mat 
I should always speak it with the "detestable" English accent. 
"No ear too old." However, I could be made more fluent, my 
vocabulary enlarged, my grammar perfected. And to that end 
she bent all her efforts, establishing several useful exchange 
relations. The chief of these was her most intimate friend, Mon- 
sieur X, a man who I suppose had been for many years her lover. 

Monsieur X had no superior intelligence ; but he was industri- 
ous and bon enfant, and partly at least through the help of 
Madame A had come to hold an excellent official position. She 


kept him busy improving Ms chances. At the moment she took 
me on she had him translating a big volume on the English sys- 
tem of handling the unemployed and the helplessly poor, an acute 
problem for Prance in the early nineties. As she already had 
pried out of me full information of all I was trying to do, she 
saw at once the possibility of a trade. If I would help him in 
translating, he would secure reports and information on subjects 
in which I was interested. It seemed a good thing for me at any 
rate, and the arrangement was made. 

I continued to help with the book until it was published. It was 
well received, even couronne by the Academy of Science. To my 
astonishment I found then that Madame A's interest in this book 
and its success was that it would help her in making a more 
profitable marriage for Monsieur X. They had settled on a wife 
that, I knew but, as she told me, his position was so much 
improved by the success of his book that he was worth a much 
larger dot. Therefore, she set out with his help, I suppose, to find 
another wife. They succeeded, and the aff air was arranged. 

I was deeply disturbed by the matter. I believed, as I still do, 
that the only safe basis for a happy marriage is a compound of 
physical harmony, capacity for companionship combined with 
understanding and acceptance of each other's ideals. I could see 
little chance where it was a matter chiefly of balanced income. 
But Madame A had no sympathy with my idealistic attitude 
towards marriage. 

Of course it left her high and dry. The little dinners which 
the three of us had shared almost every week became dinners 
a deux. The first night I was torn with sympathy. 

"Will you never see him again?" I asked. 

"Of course, not now, later perhaps. These things arrange them- 
selves, mademoiselle." 

But I noticed she ordered a double cognac that night. 

Madame A rendered one very great service to our group, one 
which we could never repay. We had been but a short time in 


Paris before we realized that one of our duties was to be help- 
ing out American girls and women who had come to Europe to 
study a little, sight-see a little, travel a little, expecting easily 
to form congenial relations with the people of the country, and 
who for one reason or another had never been able to do this. 
They were disappointed and unhappy. The four of us standing 
together made a nucleus they envied. We made it a rule to do our 
best to help them out ; but at least in one case it involved us in 
serious trouble. 

Among those who had attached themselves to us was a woman 
of some forty or more years with a curiously repellent personal- 
ity, I have never known a person to produce a more melancholy 
effect on strangers. I have seen our little salon empty itself if 
she dropped in on our evening at home. Even Madame Bonnet's 
little black dog Riquet, who had adopted us, would slink around 
the edge of the room and beg to be let out if she came in. What 
was the matter? We could not imagine. More than once she 
threw herself into my arms and sobbed that she was unhappy, 
in great trouble, of which she could not speak. 

Miss C had been some three months in the house when we came 
home from a week-end trip to be met by an outraged Madame 
Bonnet. Miss C, she told us, had been arrested, arrested for steal- 
ing at the Bon Marche and the Louvre. She was in Saint-Lazaire. 
There was a note for me. I must do something. Think of the 
disgrace to her establishment ! 

The note told me only where she was, that she had engaged 
a lawyer, asked me to see him. I did, and found him of the type 
which I suppose hangs around all prisons into which great cities 
dump women of the street and petty criminals. His only interest 
was in a possible retainer. How much would I pay him for taking 
the case? Nothing, I assured him, until I had talked to the Ameri- 
can authorities. I went to the consulate, where an irate and wor- 
ried official swore loudly at the faculty of American women for 
getting into trouble in France. 


"Here I am," he said, "saddled with a girl who is going to 
have a baby and who swears shell kill herself if I don't arrange 
for her to have it so her family will never know. 

"I was afraid she would do it too, and then there would be 
another nasty scandal to hush up, so I got the man here and 
told him he must put up the money to see her through. 

"He laughed at me; but I pulled this revolver out of the 
drawer" (suiting the action to the word) "and told him I thought 
I ought to shoot him, but that if I didn't I'd send for the girl's 
brother and see that he did. Well, he settled for ten thousand 
francs. But that does not let me off . What am I going to do with 
the baby? And now here you are with one of the nastiest kind 
of cases for a French court. They can't stand foreigners stealing 
from them." 

"But what am I to do?" I wailed. 

"She'll have to stand a public trial. You must impress the 
judges. Find out if she's got friends. Get cablegrams. Show she 
has relatives willing to help her. Read her letters. See if they 
don't show what is behind this, and when the trial comes have 
all the pretty girls and prosperous-looking men you know pres- 
ent. They'll look at you, and they'll think twice. Put on a cam- 
paign, woman." 

And so I started out to put on a campaign. I began by read- 
ing her letters. I did not go far before I had the story a tragic 
one. Miss C was well born, her family prosperous and important 
In her state, she a graduate of a great university. She had 
been a successful teacher, was to have been married to a man 
whom she had loved for years with passion and depth. For rea- 
sons I never knew the engagement was broken. In an attempt to 
forget, patch up her shattered hopes, she had come to Europe 
for study and travel; but she couldn't forget, and every week 
for months she had written the man long letters and every week 
they had come back to her unopened. 

Her despair became so black that, as she told me later, "I had 


to do something." And so, as when one bites on a sore tooth, she 
had begun to steal. The proofs of it were all there in her room : 
a pathetic collection of articles, not worth stealing, slipped 
mainly from bargain counters. Among them there were at least 
seventy pairs of gloves of every size and color none of them 
any one of us would have worn. There were some fifty pen 
knives; there w r ere a pile of half -bolts of ribbon and lace, in- 
numerable spools of silk and cotton, packages of pins and needles. 
All taken not because she wanted them, only to hurt herself in 
another spot, take her mind from the original wound. 

Understanding her wretchedness, I could sympathize with her 
folly. I began my campaign by telling Madame of our trouble. 
She detested Miss C, thought her crazy, though she admitted 
she was a better pupil than any one of us, but here was excite- 
ment, also an opportunity to serve us. What the consul had not 
suggested, she did. 

There was a long wait. Our prisoner was transferred to the 
Conciergerie, where I went to see her. A gruesome trip under 
the very windows from which I knew Madame Roland had looked 
in the days before she mounted the cart and took her last ride 
along the quay to the guillotine. 

When the trial came the sympathizing claque was a grand 
success. At Madame A's suggestion we dressed for it in the best 
we had, bought new flowers for our hats and fresh gloves, brought 
over two or three handsome young women from the Champs 
Elysees Quarter. As for Madame A herself, she made a toilette 
which even a judge would see and hear. 

I had suggested that Monsieur X, being an important person, 
might impress the judge. She was horrified. "Drag a member of 
the Government into such a stupid affair! No, you Americans 
must do it. I'll bring the rich American." 

And she did. The rich American was a wealthy idler who for 
several winters had taken lessons from her, largely, I think, be- 
cause he found her so pungent and amusing. He treated her 

IN LOTE 113 

royally as to fees and kept her In flowers and candy. He looked 
his part of Important man of affairs. Xo one could have added 
more to our display, for one could see even the judges eyeing 
enviously the elegance of his clothes. 

Petty larceny cases were at that time, and I suppose still are, 
taken into a courtroom perhaps forty by twenty, with seats for 
friends and the public. On a mounted platform at the end sat 
three judges in their robes. A dossier of each case lay before 
them ; they had for our friend a rather impressive collection of 
documents, cablegrams from her family, proofs that her father 
was or had been a man of importance In public affairs, her col- 
lege diploma, her check book and a letter of credit showing her 
to have ample funds. 

When all was ready seven prisoners were brought in, six men 
half degenerate petty thieves and our poor pale tired friend 
between them. Nothing more incongruous could have been seen 
than this well dressed woman of evident breeding flanked by these 
hopeless derelicts. 

After looking over the papers in her dossier the judges looked 
at her and then at us, now paler than she and praying for mercy 
with eyes and clasped hands. They were perplexed and annoyed. 
Was there an international angle to the case? 

**What are you doing in Paris?" asked one of them harshly. 

"Studying," Miss C answered. 

"You take a queer way to do it," he said tartly. "Why did 
you do this?" he asked more gently. 

With a weary shake of her head she said, "Je ne sais pas." 

It was Madame A who won the case, for it was to her the 
judges turned as one who, they knew at a glimpse, talked their 
language. She sailed down the aisle to take her stand before 
them, and I never have seen any one, man or woman, to whom 
one could so aptly apply the old figure, "like a full-rigged ship." 
They let her talk. She told how aomme il faut we all were as 
they could see. We were important, serious, rich. Yes, rich. Then 


she said candidly : "This woman is crazy. Send her home to her 

She had solved their problem, told them their duty, and they 
followed her advice, adding a fine of five hundred francs and an 
order that she leave France in a week after her dismissal, and 
never return. 

Madame A had saved Miss C, but she wanted no thanks from 
her, wouldn't see her; nor would Madame Bonnet let her come 
into the house save to gather up her things. She had been a fool 
and got caught. To steal the riens as she had ! It was a disgrace 
and respectable people like them could not afford to have her 
cross their doorways. 

Luckily for us, our association with American women was 
not confined to problem cases. There was a disturbing number 
of them compelling me to ask myself again and again if this 
break for freedom, this revolt against security in which I myself 
was taking part was not a fatal adventure bound to injure the 
family, the one institution in which I believed more than any 
other, bound to produce a terrible crop of wretchedness and ab- 
normality. Had not even the few successes I saw about me been 
paid for by a hardening of heart, a suppression of natural human 
joyousness that was uglier even than the case of my poor Miss C? 

But I was saved from too much perplexity over what freedom 
might be doing to my compatriots by a gradual drifting into 
rather close companionship with a number of Americans like 
ourselves taking lectures at the Sorbonne, and the College de 
France. It was a great piece of luck for us since these Americans 
were all students of more experience and attainment than any 
one of us. There was Dr. John Vincent of the History Department 
of Johns Hopkins University, and along with him his wife who 
spent hours of every day making beautiful copies of canvases in 
the Luxembourg. There were Fred Parker Emery of the English 
Department of Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his 
wife. There was a younger man, Charles D. Hazen, a Hopkins 


graduate a man who was to make a distinguished career for 
himself in French history, and now Professor Emeritus of His- 
tory at Columbia, the author of many valuable books. 

Serious work did not dull our new friends 5 curiosity about 
French life in general nor prevent a humorous detached view of 
things. We soon were dining together every week in restaurants 
of the Quarter into which we had never ventured before. Here for 
one franc, fifty (thirty cents) we got a decent dinner win com- 
pris, as well as a gay company of students and their girls. They 
were so merry, so natural in their gaiety that none of us were 
anything but amused over their little ways. It was in one of these 
restaurants that for the first time in my life I saw a girl take out 
a compact, straighten her hat her head had been on her cava- 
lier's shoulder and it was out of plumb straighten her hat and 
powder her nose. That the day would come when the manners 
and customs of the Latin Quarter of the nineties would be the 
manners and customs of American girls in practically every rank 
of life would have been unthinkable to me then. 

Our new friends added greatly to the pleasure of the weekly 
sight-seeing excursions which had been one of the features of The 
Plan. "Every week end, go somewhere" I had laid down. So 
every Saturday we were taking a bateau mouche or train or tram 
journey costing only a few of our precious sous to Saint-Denis, 
the September fete at Saint-Cloud, Versailles. If the weather was 
bad we went to the museums, the churches, the monuments. Our 
new friends liked the idea. When spring came our promenades 
took on a wider range. There were week-end trips to Fontaine- 
bleau and to one after another of the great cathedral and chateau 
towns Chartres, Beauvais, Bheims, Pierrefonds, Compiegne. 

Week ends in company as genial, unaffected and intelligent 
as that of our new friends proved were a rare experience. When 
the time came for a final break-up of the crowd in August of 
1892 my first companions had already gone back to America 
those left of us decided to take a farewell vacation together. 


The difficulty was to settle on a place. Here was something not 
on my schedule. We considered Etaples, Beuzeval-Houlgate, 
Belle-lie and finally at the last moment took tickets to Mont- 
Saint-Michel a glorious spot ; but after watching the tide come 
in for two successive days, after climbing to the top and de- 
scending to the bottom of the chateau, sitting out sunsets on 
the wall and eating omelettes at Madame Poulard's until we 
were fed to the full we pushed on to Saint-Malo and exhausted it 
as quickly as we had Mont-Saint-Michel. As we listened bored 
to the orchestra in the square a poster on a wall suddenly caught 
our collective eyes. It told us to go to the Island of Jersey. With 
one accord we said "Let's," packed our bags and caught the 
steamer all within an hour. At Jersey we walked into lodgings : 
rooms, plenty of them ; a salon looking on the sea ; such sea fish 
and vegetables and fruit as only that island offers. We thought 
it was costing a fortune, but when the bill came house, house- 
keeper, maid, and food such as we had not had for a year it 
totaled just eighty cents apiece for a day. 

That vacation put a gay finish on my first year in Paris. I 
began the second in deep depression, for several good reasons. 
First, I had exhausted my reserve. I think I came back from my 
vacation with twenty francs in my pocket. All my American asso- 
ciates were gone or going soon. I had a new address, for Madame 
Bonnet had moved from the neighborhood of the Musee Cluny 
to the more somber neighborhood of the Pantheon and, hardest 
of all, I knew now that instead of one year more I must have at 
least two to finish my undertaking. The homesickness and hunger 
for my family had never been appeased. I had lived on their 
letters. If they did not come regularly I scolded and wailed; I 
begged for details of their daily life. My mother was an intimate 
letter writer, delightfully frank about her neighbors and about 
the family. She told who was at church, fretted because father 
spent so much time with his precious Sunday school class of girls, 
described every new frock, told what they had for Sunday din- 


ner, announced the first green corn in the garden, the blossom- 
ing of her pet flowers snowdrops and primulas and iris in the 
spring, roses in the summer, anemones in the fall, cactus in the 
winter. Occasionally she would apologize for her homely details, 
particularly after I had written a long guidebookish epistle 
home describing some ancient monument I had been visiting. 
How I must have bored them sometimes ! But home details "I 
live off them," I told her. "You can't tell me too much about 
your daily doings." 

This feeling about my family made me a sensitive receiving 
plate and accounts, I suppose, for the only proof I personally 
have ever had of the possibilities in telepathy. This came the first 
Sunday of June, 1892. I had hardly taken my coffee when I fell 
prey to a most unaccountable alarm. What it was about, I did 
not know. I could not work and finally went to the street. For 
hours I walked, not able to throw off the black thing that envel- 
oped me. It was late in the afternoon when I returned to find a 
compatriot with a letter of introduction waiting. As he was leav- 
ing the apartment after his call I picked up my daily copy of 
Le Temps and as I always did turned first to the news from les 
Etats Unis. It was to read that the city of Titusville and its 
neighbor Oil City had been utterly destroyed by flood and fire. 
The only buildings left in my home town were said to be the 
railroad station and a foundry. A hundred and fifty persons had 
been drowned or burned to death the inhabitants had taken to 
the hills. 

At that moment my caller came back for his umbrella. I seized 
him roughly: "Read, read. What shall I do?" 

He was a sensible man. "Steady, steady," he said. "Put on 
your hat, and we'll go out and get other papers." We were soon 
back with the last editions of all the English and French jour- 
nals. They all gave space to the disaster, each more distressing 
and unsatisfactory than the one before. 

This explains my black day, I told myself. The family is dead 


our home gone. It was useless to cable, for the newspapers all 
spoke of broken communications. But the next morning as I was 
dressing, Madame Bonnet came in with a cablegram. Hardly 
daring to open it I backed into the corner of the room to feel the 
support behind me of the walls while my friend Mrs. Vincent, 
still with me, watched with white face. The telegram was from my 
brother, and it had just one word. "Safe." 

When finally a letter came, I found I had justification for my 
day of horror. For many hours there had been but little doubt in 
the minds of my father and brother that the family would have 
to take to the hills. But they were safe, our home was standing. 
The experience left me more nervous than ever about them, and 
now that my friends were gone It took all the resolution I could 
summon to keep my foolish alarms under control. 

Although I was beginning my second year with no money in the 
bank I had friendly relations with two publishing firms that 
seemed to see a possible something in my work. There was Scrib- 
ner's Magazine, a relation of which I was justly proud; not 
only had they encouraged me about my book, but they had asked 
me to let them consider magazine subjects that interested me and 
that I was doing. But, while it was the relation on which I hoped 
to build serious work in the future, at the moment I must share 
it with something of quicker return; and that seemed to be the 
McClure Syndicate. I felt surer of this after my first meeting 
with its founder, S. S. McClure. That meeting had been just be- 
fore my vacation in the summer of 1892; Mr. McClure had 
dropped into Paris in the meteoric fashion I found was usual 
with him, and came by appointment to see me at my new address 
in the Rue Malebranche. This crooked and steep passage off the 
Rue Saint- Jacques was unknown to half the cochers of Paris, but 
Mr. McClure found it and arrived bareheaded, watch in hand, 
breathless from running up my four flights eighty steps. 

"I've just ten minutes, 5 ' he announced; "must leave for Switz- 
erland tonight to see Tyndall." 


A slender figure, S. S. McClure, a sliock of tumbled sandy 
hair, blue eyes winch, glowed and sparkled. He was close to my 
own age, a vibrant, eager, indomitable personality that electrified 
even the experienced and the cynical. His utter simplicity, out- 
rightness, his enthusiasm and confidence captivated me. He was 
so new and unexpected that practical questions such as, "Would 
you be interested in articles on . . ." and "How much will you 
pay?" dropped out of mind. Before I knew it I was listening to 
the story of his struggle up. How as a peddler he had earned 
money for college who could have let him go without buying? 
his vast schemes of learning undertaken when a freshman at 
Knox College, one of which was to study every word in the Eng- 
lish dictionary, its start, its development, its present stage, its 
possible future, his beautiful romance with Hattie, his wife, the 
story of the Syndicate and of John always John this, John 
that, and last a magazine to be soon. And here I was to come in. 
While he talked I was managing somehow to tell him the story 
of my life and hopes and to fit things together. 

What was to have been ten minutes stretched to two houfs or 
more. "I must go,' 5 he suddenly cried. "Could you lend me forty 
dollars? It is too late to get money over town, and I must catch 
the train for Geneva." 

"Certainly," I said. I had forty dollars there in my desk, the 
sum set aside for my farewell vacation. It never occurred to me 
to do anything but give it to him. 

"How queer," he said, "that you should have that much money 
in the house !" 

"Isn't it?" I replied. "It never happened before." But I didn't 
mention the vacation. 

I had some bad moments after he was gone. ' WiU-of-the-wisp," 
I said, "a fascinating will-of-the-wisp. I'll never see that money. 
He'll simply never think of it again. I'll have to give up that 
vacation. Serves me right." 

I did see the money promptly, for Mr. McClure did not forget 


as I expected him to do, but wired his London office that night 
to send me a check. 

What the new magazine would want from me, I gathered in my 
long and exciting interview with Mr. MeClure, was articles on 
the achievements of the great French and English scientists. 
Not history, not literature, not politics, but science, discoveries, 
inventions, and adventures. 

Here I was back to my college days. I found my natural en- 
thusiasm for the physical world and its meanings which Professor 
Tingley had directed was not dead, only sleeping. I found that, 
little as I knew of all these things, I still had something of a 
vocabulary and knew enough to find my way about by hard work. 
There was Pasteur; there was Janssen, who was building an 
observatory on Mont Blanc ; there was Bertillon, the inventor of 
the system of criminal identification then attracting the atten- 
tion of the world. It took all my courage to talk with these gen- 
tlemen, but I was soon to find they were the simplest and friend- 
liest of people. For two years I kept on hand popular scientific 
articles whose success depended on interviews with distinguished 
specialists, and in that time I met with only one rebuff ; but that 
was a very contemptuous one. It was not from a man but from 
a gifted American woman who was doing valuable special work 
in one of the great French scientific institutions. The effect of 
scholarship on a woman, I told myself. She doesn't ripen, she 
hardens. I know better now. It happens, but by no means to all 
women. Take Dr. Florence Sabin, a great human being as well 
as a great specialist. 

The contacts I made on this work left me precious memories. 
There was my acquaintance with Madame and Monsieur Pasteur. 
One of the first articles Mr. McClure asked for was on the 
Institute, then but eight years old. Of course that meant an inter- 
view with Pasteur if it could be managed. It turned out to be 
easy enough. 

The Pasteurs lived in a spacious apartment in the Institute: 


big rooms with heavy furniture, heavy curtains, dark soft rugs 
of the period. It was not until I was actually in the library where 
Madame Pasteur led me that I realized how sadly Pasteur was 
crippled by the paralysis of his left side which he had suffered 
twenty-five years earlier after three years of incessant and ex- 
hausting labor on the diseases of the silkworm. He moved with 
difficulty, he hesitated painfully over words; but his eyes were 
bright, curious, interested. 

After a few more or less stumbling explanations on my part 
we fell to talking naturally. They made it so easy. Mr. McClure 
was insistent at that moment on what were called human docu- 
ments, series of portraits of eminent people from babyhood to 
1893. I must have a Pasteur series. Monsieur and Madame were 
delighted with the idea. The old albums were brought out, and 
the three of us bent over them exactly as we did now and then at 
home when the question of W. W. T. at one, S. A. T. at two, 
I. M. T. at three came up. Again and again they stopped to say : 
"Tiens ! Voila Pierre, comment il est drole !" "Marie, comme elle 
est jolieP 

When the album was closed and we had talked long of his 
early life I made an effort to get some idea of what he was think- 
ing of now, but he said: "No science. If you want that, go see 
Monsieur Roux." And so reluctantly I went down the stairs that 
led from the apartment, the kindly old faces watching me, for 
Monsieur and Madame Pasteur had done me the honor to see 
me off, and Monsieur kept repeating as I went down, "Look out, 
the stairs are dark." 

When finally the article came out, in the second issue of 
McClwre*s Magazine, September, 1893, 1 took a copy to him. He 
was as pleased as a boy with the pictures. On a later visit he 
complained that one of his colleagues had carried off the copy. 
Could I get him another? When I took this to him it was with the 
request that he write a maxim for the January, 1894, issue of 
the magazine. 


Mr. McClure had had the happy idea of asking from leaders 
of science, industry, religion, literature a paragraph or two em- 
bodying their convictions as to the outlook for the world's future, 
their hopes for it. There was need enough of encouragement. The 
world had been going through as bad a year as often comes its 
way, a year of despair, uncertainty, hopelessness. What was 
ahead? The replies which filled eighteen pages of the magazine 
included letters and sentiments from Huxley, Tyndall, Max 
Miiller, Henry Stanley, Julia Ward Howe, Cardinal Gibbons, 
and a score of others: noble collection. It was published under 
the heading "The Edge of the Future. 55 It raised my interest in 
the venture to a high pitch of enthusiasm. It was for me the 
spirit, the credo of the new magazine. It meant something more 
than I had dreamed possible in magazine journalism. 

For the "Edge of the Future" undertaking I was asked at a 
last moment to collect all the sentiments I could from distin- 
guished Frenchmen. Pasteur, certainly, and he was easy. "Of 
course I will do it," he said. "Come back, and I'll have it ready." 
But when I went back I found him in a flurry. He had written 
his pensee, and it was lost. 

"Never mind," comforted Madame Pasteur. "She'll come back 
when you have it ready for her." 

And so I did ; but it was unfinished, and Madame Pasteur had 
to stand over him, encouraging him with tender tres Hens and 
little pats while he wrote. He was peevish as a child; he didn't 
like the looks of it, tried again, and finally with a pathetic look 
said : "I'm afraid you don't want either. But if you do, take your 
choice." And so I did. 

What he had written was : 

"In the matter of doing good, obligation ceases only when 
power fails." 

Before the time limit was up I had autographed sentiments 
from Alphonse Daudet, Zola, Alexandre Dumas, Francois Cop- 

IX LOVE 123 

pee and Jules Simon, as well as a collection of impressions still 
clear. There was Zola. 

I carried away from my visit with Mm an Impression of a man 
agitated, confused, sulky, an Impression emphasized by the 
amazing conglomeration of furnishings of all ages and all coun- 
tries which cluttered the entry, stairway, and big salon of his 
house. I had to wind my way between suits of armor, sedan chairs, 
Chinese lacquered tables and seats, carved and painted wood to 
reach him standing at the end of the room. The whole house was 
like that, as Is shown in a series of sketches McClure published 
in one of the early numbers. He talked long and violently about 
his enemies, defended his realism, hinted that he was a latter-day 
Balzac, also a great collector spending his leisure in Paris at 
art sales, which accounted for my difficulty in finding him in his 
own salon. The sentiment he gave me was a reflection of his talk 
and of the point of view of his school, 

"War," he wrote, "is the very life, the law of the world. How 
pitiful is man when he Introduces ideas of justice and of peace, 
when implacable nature is only a continual battle field." 

Dumas fils was the only serene person in the group and was 
very courteous, the quietest Frenchman I ever met. 

Jules Simon touched me deeply by what he wrote : 

"Faire le bien 
Recolter Pingratitude 
Se confier a Dieu." 


Now that McClure's was really started, I felt that on what I 
could do for them and the two or three articles in which I had 
interested Scribner's I could live, and that I might drop every- 
thing else and devote the bulk of my time to my real business 
a study of the life of Madame Roland. She had never been out 
of my mind. Soon after my arrival I had found to my joy that 
my daily walks to and from the National Library, where I was 
spending most of my time, could be laid through the very Quarter 
in which her father had carried on his trade of goldsmith and 
past the house in which she had been born, the church where she 
had taken her first communion, the prison where she had spent 
her last days, along the route she followed to the guillotine. 

"What luck, what luck," I used to say, "that I should be tak- 
ing the very walks she took!" It was amazing how little things 
had changed. The house where Madame Roland was born still 
stands at the western point of the He de la Cite looking down 
on the statue of Henry IV and the busy Seine, and to the right 
the Pont-Neuf , in her day the heart of Paris and still to me one 
of its most fascinating spots. 

As she slowly came to life something more important began to 
take shape, something which had been little more than a set of 
dates and events in my mind. I began to see the Revolution 
already well on its way when she was born ; I saw it rising around 
her, sucking her in, using her when she thought it had gone far 
enough and should check its excesses, throwing her over without 
her head while true to type it went the whole way, finally falling 
exhausted into the hands of a dictator equipped with guns. 



The physical scars of all this long train of violence could be 
seen on my daily walks or studied in the Musee Carnavalet where 
Paris has gathered documents and relics of what she has de- 
stroyed as well as of what she has achieved. But besides the scars 
of Madame Roland's time were other scars dating from the cen- 
turies, scars of revolutionary outbreaks of the same type hardly 
to be distinguished from those of the period I was trying to 
visualize ; and the more you knew of these explosions, the more 
they seemed to fit together. You could not bound Madame 
Roland's Revolution as I had supposed. What I had called the 
French Revolution was only an unusually violent episode in the 
lifelong struggle of Paris to preserve herself as a free individual, 
the slave of no man or group of men. Revolution had always been 
her last resort in making herself what she was, in forcing kings 
to do her bidding, tolerating them when they fed her well, beau- 
tified her, protected her, but throwing them over when they asked 
too much money for the job they did. 

The marks were all over the city. How could I understand 
Madame Roland until I understood the elemental force which 
for centuries had been sweeping Paris in big or little gusts? Did 
these who sought to loosen the force suppose that they created it 
or could control it, once loosened? Had Madame Roland, confi- 
dent as she had been of her ability to act as Providence, frank 
as she was in saying that no role but that of Providence was 
suited to her powers, been anything more than a revolutionary 
tool and victim? 

It had always been at work and still was. I must find out about 
it, and it looked at the moment as if I were going to have a good 
opportunity to watch a revolutionary revival of what propor- 
tions no man could tell. 

The Panama affair had disgusted all self-respecting French- 
men. "Is the Republic to be a failure?" they were asking. Noth- 
ing so gives heart to the leaders of lost causes, disappointed polit- 
ical groups, advocates of panaceas and particularly to the 


radical-minded, as a rousing political scandal. Panama stirred 
all the parties of France to action Bourbons and Bonapartists, 
extreme conservatives, socialists of all the many varieties, and 
particularly the anarchists. 

There were four groups of the latter, no one of which would 
have anything to do with any of the others. It was the Independ- 
ents who now went into action. Members of this group worked 
alone, letting not even their fellows know what they had in mind. 
A branch of the order existed in the United States, and it was 
one of them, Alexander Berkman, who attempted this same year, 
1892, to assassinate Henry Frick in Pittsburgh. The Independ- 
ent who acted first in Paris was Jules Ravachol by name, a man 
some thirty-three years old, a dyer by trade, with a courageous 
but not a criminal face. So I thought when, a little later, I secured 
his photograph and measurements from the Criminal Identifica- 
tion Bureau for McClure's Magazine. 

Ravachol began by blowing up various houses. It was like a 
tocsin. All over France similar outrages followed, and they con- 
tinued at intervals for two or more years the crowning one a 
bomb thrown in the Chamber of Deputies in December of 1893 
by a notorious anarchist known as Auguste Vaillant. Several 
Deputies and eighty or more spectators in the gallery were 
wounded seriously. It was a ghastly affair. 

The outbreaks and the rumors of outbreaks as well as the\ 
actual destruction had a bad effect on the nerves of many of the 
French. There was Alphonse Daudet. 

Madame Daudet had offered to get me a pensee for the collec- 
tion I was making for McClure's Magazine, and arranged for 
me to call for the copy. After we had tea she took me to the 
library to see how "Alphonse was getting on." It was my first 
glimpse of him : a little man, with a shock of straight black hair 
which stood out rather ferociously at the moment, evidently from 
running his fingers through it. His face was pale, his eyes aston- 
ishingly black and bright. He had lost two or three teeth, and the 


remaining ones were not very good. He was terribly excited. He 
had not finished his pensee, he said, because he had just had a 
visit from an anarchist. The servant had let in a man who had 
demanded twenty francs to buy a wagonload of dynamite to blow 
up the Hotel de Tille. He grew more and more excited as he 

"I really expected the man to kill me," he said, "and I got out 
this revolver which I always keep in the drawer." And he pulled 
it out to show it to me. "A pretty affair," he said, "if while you 
two were visiting in there a tragedy had gone on in here." 

I so shared the general nervousness that, more than once when 
I saw a man on the omnibus carrying a package, I feared a bomb 
and abruptly descended; yet along with all my nervousness I 
was always nosing around, hoping to see a bomb go off. It seemed 
to me that was my journalistic duty, but I never saw anything 
more than the ruins they had caused. I did see a pretty good 
revolution, one that had all the earmarks that I had been finding 
in my attempted study of Revolution. It was in July of 1893. 
This time it was youth in revolt, the youth of the Latin Quarter 
and the Beaux Arts. From start to finish the revolt went on prac- 
tically under my windows. 

The Annual Ball of the Beaux Arts in the winter of 1893 had 
scandalized Paris. As I remember, the exhibit which outraged 
was a lady who promenaded with no other covering than a mos- 
quito net. The protest finally reached the Chamber of Deputies, 
where a member Berenger took it up in a serious way and 
proposed a restrictive law which angered the students. It was, 
they said, an interference with their right to amuse themselves. 
Immediately long and picturesque monomes single lines of men, 
one hand on the shoulder of the man in front, the other grasping 
a hand of the one behind threaded their way up and down the 
boulevards, particularly in the vicinity of the Luxembourg, 
chanting at the top of their voices, "Conspuez Berenger !" "Con- 
spuez Loze [Chief of Police] !" "Down with the puritans !" 


The demonstration began on a Saturday, and that night a 
great crowd centered in a cafe in my neighborhood. The place 
was packed inside and out with youths noisier and noisier as the 
hours went on. Finally the crowd became so unruly that a squad- 
ron of police charged them. There was a great hubbub and in 
the melee somebody hurled one of the heavy white match boxes 
which were used on all the tables in the Latin Quarter restau- 
rants a dangerous missile. It hit an innocent spectator who had 
come to see the fun a young man of twenty-two or twenty-three 
from the other side of the river and killed him. The students 
were wild with rage, and all that night and all next day they 
tore up and down the streets, pulling up trees, knocking over 
kiosks, breaking windows. 

The shopkeepers of Paris, having the experience of centuries 
of revolutionary outbreaks behind them, knew when to retire; 
and before Monday night the heavy wooden shutters with which 
they protect their fronts were all up, their doors closed, and the 
Quarter was alive with soldiers and mounted police. The center 
of the disturbance that day, however, was not the Latin Quarter 
but the streets around the Chamber of Deputies, where a great 
band of angry students kept up a tumult. There were funny 
incidents. A big group of deputies came out to look over the 
demonstration, and on the instant the air rang with the jingling 
of hundreds of big copper sous pitched on the pavements to cries 
of "Panama, Panama." 

The Dahomans were pets of Paris in those days, a picturesque 
addition to the population. Handsomer creatures never were seen. 
It happened a carriageful^ naked to the waist, attempted to pass 
through the crowd. At once the students set up the cry, "Beren- 
ger, Berenger, bring 5 em a figleaf, bring 'em a figleaf ." 

By Tuesday the Latin Quarter had begun to look sinister. The 
inevitable had happened. 

A popular disturbance never remains long in the full control 
of those who start it. Advocates of all sorts of systems and causes 


join it, seize it, if one of them can produce a real leader. A stu- 
dents' revolt can easily become an anarchist raid, with looting 
and arson on the side by professional lawbreakers, who always 
come out of their hiding places when anarchy breaks out. As the 
to-be-expected invasion of the Latin Quarter from without be- 
gan, destruction increased. Omnibuses were seized and, at stra- 
tegic points, piled up as barricades. 

But the rioters never succeeded in making a stand. Steadily 
and quietly, night and day, platoons of mounted police moved up 
and down the boulevards and into the Quarter. I tried at first to 
go on my usual round, hoping to learn something of revolution- 
ary technique, but after I had been caught in a crowd the cav- 
alry was driving from the Place de la Sorbonne, had heard 
bullets whistling over my head, been forced to take refuge in the 
portal of the church, I was content to stay at home. However, 
there was excitement enough there. 

Our street was narrow and steep. When the cavalry charged, 
it would fill up with the rioters. The movement was amazingly 
quiet no shouting, no shots, the only noise the clatter of the 
horses 5 feet as they drove the mass ahead. 

This invasion of our street produced panic among the for- 
eigners in the house. There were a couple of middle-aged Amer- 
ican women on the floor below me out seeing the world; but they 
had not bargained for a Revolution, and during the three or 
four days our Revolution was going on they shut themselves 
night and day in their room. 

The Egyptians were in a worse panic. They whispered horri- 
ble stories of what happened in revolutions, and one night when 
fires had been set in our neighborhood and the firemen were out, 
they were sure we were all going to be burned alive. "Here we 
are, fourth floor," cried one of them, "too high up to get out. 
We'll all be dead by morning." 

A week was as long as the students could hold out in the torrid 
weather. There were too many cavalry, too many soldiers, too 


alert a police force, and also there were the apaches, the anarch- 
ists. It was no longer their revolution. They gave up ; and by the 
end of the week kiosks were replaced, trees replanted, windows 
and doors opened, and we were all going on in our normal way. 

Over, all quiet, nevertheless it was a pretty fine little revolu- 
tion while it lasted. Was it not like Ravachol and Vaillant, a 
symptom, the kind of symptom by which the rise of the revolu- 
tionary fever always announces itself? Were there those who 
would nourish these symptoms as carefully as Madame Roland 
and her friends had nourished them in her day? If so, you would 
get your explosion. And for what good, I was asking myself. 

Madame Roland had lost her head because she was not content 
with a first Revolution which had given the country a Constitu- 
tion. She wanted to get the King and Queen and the highborn of 
all varieties out of the way. She wanted a Republic. She lost her 
head to those who were not satisfied with getting King and Queen 
out of the way, who wanted her and her followers out of the way 
as soon as they began to cry for order. Her Republic had col- 
lapsed under Napoleon Bonaparte. There had come a return to 
the Bourbon, then a Republic, then a return to a Bonaparte and 
again her Republic. But was this corrupt and vulgar Republic 
I was hearing about any better than the corrupt and scandalous 
court she hated and helped overthrow? Was the affair of the 
diamond necklace any worse than the affair of Panama? Was the 
Bastille a more ghastly prison than the spot where they were now 
sending political prisoners the Devil's Island of the Tropics? 

I did not have the consolation of a fixed political formula to 
pull me out of my muddle. It is very easy to put everything in 
its place when you have that and are armed with its faith and 
its phrases. But here was I with a heroine on my hands whose 
formula and methods and motives I was beginning to question as 
I was questioning the formula, the methods and motives of 
Prance of the moment. 

What kept me at my task, prevented me from throwing up 


Madame Roland and going on a blind research for the nature 
and roots of revolution, was the brilliant and friendly intellectual 
circle into which my quest of Madame Roland had led me. 

Among the names I had been advised to include In my series 
on the writing women of Paris was that of A. Mary F. Robin- 
son, an Englishwoman of the pre-Raphaelite school, a poetess of 
delicacy and distinction who had married one of the eminent 
scholars of France, James Darmesteter, a Hebrew and a cripple. 
One had only to look into his face to know that here was a great 
soul. And what interested me so was that this something in his 
face, his remarkable head, wiped out all sense of incongruity 
between the mating of this slender and exquisite woman with this 
man of alien race and crippled body. I never felt for a moment 
an incongruity. 

When Monsieur Darmesteter learned I was after Madame 
Roland he was immediately helpful. "You must know Leon 
Marillier of the Ecole des Hautes Etudes. He is a great-great- 
grandson of Madame Roland. He has papers which have never 
been given to the public. I will write you a letter. 55 Which he did, 
a letter which brought me an invitation to dinner. 

This dinner was the gate to a whole new social and intellectual 
world. Here was a French academic household of the best sort, 
simple, hard-working, gay. Leon Marillier was an excellent and 
respected scholar. Jeanne, his wife, a sister of the Breton poet, 
Anatole Le Braz, was not only a skillful household manager but, 
like the wives of many French scholars, her husband's amanu- 
ensis, copy and proof reader, and general adviser. She had 
particular charm among Parisians, for she was a Bretonne who 
loved her pays and kept its distinguishing marks without being 
provincial. Here I found, too 5 eager to go over the papers which 
Leon Marillier spread out after dinner for my inspection, one 
who was to prove a most helpful and delightful friend, Charles 
Borgeaud the eminent Swiss scholar, a friend of my friends the 
Vincents now back at Johns Hopkins. 


But this was not the end of it. There was a closer connection, 
Leon Marillier's mother, the great-granddaughter of Madame 
Roland, and they quickly passed me on to her. 

Here again I was invited to dinner, and here I discovered a 
circle different from anything I had ever known, a household of 
brilliant men presided over by Madame Marillier, a most gra- 
cious woman, of fine intelligence, freed and mellowed by a tragic 
life, as I was to learn. More than any woman I have ever known, 
Madame Marillier came to stand in my mind and heart as the 
personification of that quality which the French hold so high 

The leader of the group of men was a Sorbonne professor of 
history Charles Seignobos. He was a learned man who carried 
his learning not as an accomplishment but as a social utility. 
Seignobos was a not too dogmatic socialist and materialist, a 
good pianist, a marvelous talker, a lovable and pungent person- 
ality. Around him there gathered every Wednesday evening for 
dinner at Madame Marillier's table a number of young men all 
serious students, liberal minds, hard workers. After dinner six or 
eight more habitues of the house were sure to drop in for coffee 
and for talk. 

Among these regular habitues was Lucien Herr, who at that 
moment was seeking to convert to socialism the two men who in 
the years since have done most to make the doctrine an im- 
pregnable factor in political life in France Jean Jaures and 
Leon Blum, the recent premier of France. Herr at that time was 
the librarian at the Ecole Normale, as well as managing editor 
of the Revue de Paris. In both positions he met many young 
would-be scholars and writers. When one of them seemed to him 
to have the makings of a liberal thinker he worked over him as 
a missionary works to save a soul. He was so working in the early 
nineties over Jean Jaures and Leon Blum. 

Occasionally Lucien Herr brought to the Seignobos circle one 
of those whom he was seeking to convert. If Jaures and Blum 


were ever among them they made no particular impression on me, 
much as I dislike to think so. They were simply a couple of 
Lucien's young men. 

Although Herr believed the socialistic state he sought would 
and could come by a peaceful evolution, the thing I remember 
best about him was an exhibit of indifference to bloodshed which 
shocked me to the core. The night that Vaillant threw the bomb 
in the Chamber of Deputies the group was dining with Madame 
Marillier ; Lucien was late, not an unusual happening. We were 
halfway through when he came in, pale, exalted. We all turned 
in our seats as he standing told us how he had been in the Cham- 
ber when the bomb was thrown, of the explosion in mid-air, of 
the wounded all about him. He had no word of the suffering, only 
of the political bearings of the deed. 

"But the wounded, Lucien," broke in Seignobos, wHo could 
not endure the thought of pain. 

"Cela ne me fait rien," said Lucien. 

His opposition to bloodshed was intellectual, not emotional 
like that of Seignobos. 

On the face of it nobody could have been less at home in such 
a group than I, a tongue-tied alien, all eyes and ears, contribut- 
ing nothing but my presence; yet it came about before many 
weeks that "Mademoiselle Mees," as Seignobos called me, had a 
place at the weekly dinners. Undoubtedly the friendship that 
sprang up quickly between Madame Marillier and me, as well as 
the fact that I asked nothing but to listen, explained it. I could 
afford to listen ; I had never heard such talk. There was nothing 
on earth that was foreign or forbidden. Opinions were free as 
the air, but they had to fight for their lives. There was a complete 
absence of pretense, and sophistry was thrown as soon as it came 
to its feet. That it was a friendly circle, its acceptance of me was 
proof enough. 

Friendliness began at the door wlien I arrived Wednesday 
evening. It was always Seignobos who came rushing to meet me, 


seized my hand, helped me off with my wraps, danced about me 
asking eager boyish questions about what I had been doing since 
I was there last. The talk begun, I was forgotten unless by chance 
he suddenly recalled me. Then he would jump up, run over, 
demand, "What do you think of that?" Half the time I was 
thinking less about what they were saying than about their ex- 
citing personalities. They seemed to be vividly related to life, but 
much of their talk was based on something that was not life 
abstract literature, learning, speculation. I realized this when 
they talked of America. Seignobos saw it only as he had read 
about it in books. It seemed to him not to be producing that 
intellectual elite on which he felt the salvation of society de- 
pended a group capable of doing the thinking and planning 
for a world of lesser men. It was the lesser men who were coming 
to the top in America. Confronted with superiority from Amer- 
ica, he refused to believe it native. One summer I presented to 
him a friend of mine, a woman of exquisite mind and manner. 
"She is not American?" he said. "They do not produce that kind 
in America. Where was she born where was she educated?" 

"In Kansas," I said. He bounded out of his chair like a ball. 
"It couldn't be, it couldn't be. Kansas is only a half -settled state. 
One has only to look to see this is a rare type that you have 
brought here. She never came out of Kansas." 

I never saw him more outraged than one day when pressure 
was brought to bear on him to accept a position in the University 
of Chicago at a handsome salary. Jumping up, he raced around 
the room. "Chicago! What can a man of intelligence find there? 
You can't build an intellectual center on money and organiza- 
tion. It is a growth. Five hundred years from now Chicago may 
be fit for scholars, but not now." 

He mistrusted the intelligence of the United States, but less 
than that of England. Americans were not stupid: Englishmen 
were. He wanted none of them in his circle. I met this prejudice 


head-on when I asked permission to introduce to him a brilliant 
young English friend, H. Wickham Steed. 

I had never known a young man who was surer of what he 
wanted to do in life or who was preparing for it in a more thor- 
ough and logical f asliion than Steed. His ambition was to become 
a foreign correspondent of the London Times. He knew that for 
this it was necessary for him to be familiar with the languages, 
the history, the men, the politics of the leading countries of the 
Continent. He began by taking some two years in German}". Now 
he was acquainting himself with the French language, literature, 
politics, leaders. I found Steed especially interesting on a subject 
of which I knew little, although we were having reverberations 
in the United States. This was the philosophy of Karl Marx. 
Steed was familiar with its then status in Germany, knew its 
leaders Liebknecht and Engels. He envied ine my relations with 
the group at Madame Marillier's, envied me my Wednesday 
night dinner, as he might very well. 

"Could you not present me?" he asked. 

I knew how jealous they were of their circle, and knew, too, 
they thought the English a stupid bigoted race and wanted none 
of it. But Steed was certainly not stupid. Besides, he was young, 
and I had a feeling that nothing would be better for him than 
contact with these enlightened friends of mine. And so with some 
hesitation I told Seignobos about him and asked him if I might 
bring him. 

"Never ! The English are stupid." 

"You are wrong about Steed," I argued. "You ought to be 
willing to give him the benefit of the doubt." 

After some arguments I was allowed to present my protege. 
As I expected, they pounced on him mercilessly. It was fine to 
see the way he held his own and a relief when, after an hour or 
more of baiting, Seignobos came to my corner and in a tone of 
surprise and wonder said, "Mademoiselle Mees, your Englishman 
is intelligent." 


When they came to that conclusion they took Steed in, and 
from that time on he was welcome. All through the years of his 
brilliant career as a correspondent and later through the war as 
foreign editor of the London Times, the association with Seigno- 
bos continued. In his recollections, "Through Thirty Years/' 
Steed tells of his introduction to the circle "a sort of entrance 
examination" which convinced his examiners he was less stupid 
than he ought to have been. 

This then was the group in which my interest in Madame 
Roland had landed me. As the weeks went on, the intimacy grew 
greater. Whatever occurred to them that might help me in my 
work, they suggested. It was through their introduction tEat I 
was given every opportunity in the manuscript room of the 
National Library to work over the large collection of Roland 
manuscripts which had just been catalogued. Indeed, I was the 
first person to work on them in the Library. 

Delightful as well as important to my enterprise was the invi- 
tation Madame gave me in the spring of 1893 to go with her 
for a fortnight to Le Clos, a country estate which had been in 
the Roland family for at least a hundred years before the Revo- 
lution. After the death of Monsieur and Madame Roland in 1793 
Le Clos had passed to their daughter. It now belonged to Ma- 
dame Marillier, who managed it, giving special care to its chief 
yield, grapes made into wine on the place. 

Le Clos lay in the Beaujolais, some thirty miles north of the 
city of Lyons and close to a hamlet called Theize. Here Madame 
Roland had spent some four years while her husband served as 
inspector of manufactures at Lyons. The chateau was little 
changed, so Madame Marillier told me. The activities were what 
they had been a hundred years ago. It was a rare chance to see 
my heroine in a different role, busy with other duties than those 
of student, tuft-hunter, political diplomat, Providence to a Na- 
tion. I needed to see her in a more natural and helpful environ- 
ment, for I was beginning to mistrust her. 


The journey to Le Clos with Madame Marillier, taken in May, 
was an adventure for both of us. How much she had jeopardized 
her position in her own family by traveling with a foreigner and 
a Protestant, I did not realize until the day we spent sightseeing 
at Dijon. She left me for an hour to visit an important and 
ancient aunt. "I should not dare take you with me, 55 she said, 
"my aunt would cast me out if she knew I was traveling with a 

To reach Le Clos we left the railroad at Villefranche and 
climbed in a horse-cart for an hour and more, steadily up hills, 
across valleys, a high broad country, striped by many colored 
ribbonlike farms, dotted by stout buildings of dull yellow, the 
stone of the country, sprinkled with splendid trees, vineyards 
and orchards. Theize, the hamlet we sought, lay high. We drove 
between its walls, turned into a lane, and stopped before a big 
gate in a yellow wall. Behind it lay Le Clos, a little white chateau 
of Louis XTV's time with corner towers and red-tiled roofs, a 
court on one side, a garden on the other. From this garden one 
looked out over a magnificent panorama of hills, mountains, val- 
leys, stretching to the Swiss Alps in the east. On clear evenings 
the snowcaps were visible and now and then the round crown of 
Mount Blanc glowed on the sky line like an immense opal. 

Within the chateau there had been little outward change from 
Madame Roland's time. There was the same great dark kitchen, 
with its stone floor, its huge fireplace (although now a stove 
helped out), the same shining copper vessels on the walls. There 
was the same brick floor in the billiard room with its ancient table, 
its guns and caps of successive generations of soldiers on the 
walls. The brightest place within the house was the salon, done in 
yellow plush, family portraits on the walls, a piano, books. 

I had an apartment to myself looking out on the garden and 
beyond to the mountains : a bedroom, toilet and workroom, severe 
as a nun's cell with its uncovered floor, its unadorned walls, but 
containing every necessary comfort and a wealth of books five 


hundred or more in my workroom, including several magnificent 
sets. Among them, Voltaire complete in seventy volumes. They 
nearly all bore eighteenth century dates, and some of them the 
name of Roland himself. Indeed, the home was rich in books of 
value. In Madame Marillier's library there were two thousand or 
more; but these were only "what was left. 3 ' From the collection 
she had inherited she had given Leon Marillier complete early 
sets of Voltaire, Rousseau, Diderot ; she had made a collection of 
scientific books for Louis Lapique, one of the members of her 
Paris household, and another of historical books for Charles 
Seignobos, and still there were all these hundreds, many of which 
I had the right to believe Madame Roland herself had handled. 
We ransacked them for marginal notes and hunted through the 
drawers of old desks and bureaus for papers, finding not a few 
small bits which were grist for my mill. 

Books were about all the original possessions of Le Clos that 
the Revolutionists of the seventeen-nineties had not made away 
with. The chateau itself had not suffered seriously, though there 
were still some slight scars; but, books aside, it had been com- 
pletely stripped of furnishings. Even today, so Madame Maril- 
lier told me, it was not unusual when inquiry was made about the 
origin of some interesting old piece in a Beaujolais farmhouse to 
be told, "Oh, that came from Le Clos a hundred years ago." 

The Revolution stripped Le Clos of its possessions and all but 
ended the family. But it did not succeed in convincing all the 
Beaujolais of its beneficence. There was not a little outspoken 
antirevolutionary feeling still abroad. The Marseillaise was never 
played in Theize, I was told. The cure and the municipal council 
would not permit it, nor would they allow the 14th of July to be 
celebrated. While I was at Le Clos there was a sharp dispute in 
a neighboring hamlet on the playing of the "Marseillaise." The 
bandmaster refused to lead when it was asked. It was put up to 
the band who voted yes. Thereupon the master laid down his 


baton and went off in a huff. Madame Roland's Revolution was 
not ended. 

But I did not think much of such dark matters at Le Clos. 
They did not belong to the years I had come there to relive. 
Those were only gay, happy, useful years. I knew from her let- 
ters before me she could and did fill the role of a local Providence, 
adjusting her activities and reforms to what her constituency 
understood and was willing to accept. She filled her time as I 
saw my friend Madame Marillier filling hers, busy from morning 
until night with the affairs of the estate, visiting the people, 
prescribing remedies for man and beast, vegetables and vines, 
arranging a marriage for this pair, making an invalid more com- 
fortable, taking care of some peasant's wayward son, climbing up 
the steep hillside to early mass to set a good example, discharg- 
ing naturally and intelligently that responsibility to the family, 
the estate, the dependent countryside, which the Frenchwoman 
seems to accept as her contribution to the state. It makes her 
something steady, wise, superior, a strong factor in the economic, 
social, and religious stability of France. 

I had never seen anything which seemed to me more useful 
than what Madame Marillier was doing, and I had opportunity 
to judge, for everywhere she went she took me with her. Her in- 
variable card of introduction to these natural-born skeptics of 
the value of all persons not born and raised in France was, 
"Mademoiselle comes from the same country as your vines." That 
was enough for them. Their vines had been devastated by re- 
peated visitations of the phylloxera, and it was not until the 
introduction of American roots that the vineyards had recovered. 
They were looking well now. I was welcome at once ; they treated 
me as if I were the benefactor, yet I doubt if any of them knew 
where America was. Most of them with whom I talked placed it 
somewhere in Africa. Africa they did know, as a name at least, 
because many of their sons went there for military service. One 
of the most surprising things to me among the French, high and 


low, was their utter indifference to the geography of the rest of 
the world. Why should they bother about the rest of the world? 
There was only one land about which they should know : that was 
France, and that they should know to the last corner. Even many 
educated people I met did not distinguish North from South 
America. In Madame Darmesteter's drawing room I met culti- 
vated people who believed that all Americans carried weapons in 
their pockets, and that Indians walked the streets of Chicago. 
When I protested that it was against the law to carry a re- 
volver, and that the only Indians in Chicago were those that were 
imported as they imported the Dahomans, they smiled incredu- 

Many of them, I concluded, got their notions of what America 
was like from the exhibits in a certain public hall on the Grand 
Boulevards. Here you paid a sou or two to look through stereo- 
scopes at amusing and sometimes very improper pictures. Here 
the walls were decorated with illustrated newspapers from dif- 
ferent countries, and among them were always copies of the 
Police Gazette. As a matter of fact it was in this hall of the 
Grand Boulevard of Paris that I saw the first copy of the Police 
Gazette that I had seen since those days back in Rousevillc when 
my friend and I carefully studied the underworld in the sheets 
that we could slip away from the bunkhouse of my father's 

The visit to Le Clos with its grist of impressions, the convic- 
tion that I had seen Madame Roland herself, in her happiest as 
well as her most useful days, completed the study of source mate- 
rial for her life on which I had been working as I found time 
through the twenty months I had been in Paris. It rounded out 
the woman she was, softened the asperity which I was beginning 
to feel for her; also it strengthened my suspicion that while a 
woman frequently was a success as the Providence of a country- 
side she did no better than a man when she attempted to fill that 
function for a nation. 


Now I was ready to write my boot. Of course while I was 
doing this I must keep the wolf from the door 5 and it was not 
so easy in the year 1893 for a stray journalist in Paris to get 
out of the distracted American market orders or pay for orders. 
The depression of the nineties, now in its third year with five 
years more to go, was working havoc everywhere. It was hard to 
get your money even if your debtors consented you had earned it. 
I was depending at the moment largely upon the new magazine, 
McClure's. It had started in the summer of 1893, an undertaking 
which only the young and innocent and the hopelessly optimistic 
would ever have dared. It has always been a marvel to me that 
Mr. McClure and Mr. Phillips were able to hold on through that 
dreadful year; but they did, and with a resourcefulness, even 
gaiety, that nobody but those who saw it can appreciate. 

I knew perfectly well that if the magazine lived I should get 
all the money I earned, but in the summer of 1893 they did not 
have it. It came to a serious pass with me, a point where I did 
not have a sou or anybody to whom I could confide my predica- 
ment. Not for the world would I have told my devoted Madame 
Marillier that there was no money in my purse ; not for the world 
would I have confided it to Madame A; and, as for the Amer- 
icans on the scene, I was bent on impressing them with the fact 
I was really getting on. At all events it must not go back to 
Titusville or Meadville, Pennsylvania, that this questionable ven- 
ture of mine had brought me so low. 

And so one warm summer day I took my sealskin coat, which 
really was a very good one quite out of keeping with the rest of 
my wardrobe by this time close to scandalous I took the coat 
and marched over town to the Mont de Piete. They were polite 
to me ; but I was a foreigner, that coat might be stolen, probably 
was. What credentials did I have, whom could I give as refer- 
ence? There was nobody in the town that I was willing to have 
know what I was doing. But did I have documents to prove my 


Yes, I said, I had ; and I would bring them. So I left my coat 
and raced back to the Left Bank for my credentials. And what 
were they? What did I have? There were letters from my pub- 
lishers; there was my checkbook exhausted but nevertheless a 
checkbook. Without thinking it would be of any particular use 
I took my Allegheny College diploma. The inspector passed 
lightly over the letters of editors, the stubs in my checkbook, but 
the diploma impressed him; and so it was on my Allegheny Col- 
lege diploma I made the loan which helped me over the bad 
months of 1893 while I was waiting for a check from a land in 
the grip of one of the most serious money famines that it had ever 

Although there might be anxious moments over money I was 
freer to work on my book than I had ever been. And work I did, 
as hard as I could, all that terrifically hot summer. My friend 
Madame Marillier had gone to Brittany. She begged me to come 
along; but I had used up all my vacation money in my trip to 
Le Clos a trip I had extended to Switzerland and to a chain of 
French towns where there were beautiful things I wanted to see, 
to Bourg, Macon, Cluny, Autun. There was nothing that I 
wanted to do more except finish up and go home. 

But the finishing up was not so easy. I had undertaken the 
study of this woman in order to clear up my mind about the 
quality of service that women could give and had given in public 
life, particularly in times of stress. I had hoped to come out with 
some definite conclusions, to be able to say : "The woman at this 
point will be a steady, intuitive, dependable force. She will never 
lend herself to purely emotional or political approaches to great 
social problems ; she knows too much of human beings. Her busi- 
ness has always been handling human beings. Building families 
has been her job in society. You can depend upon her to tell you 
whom to trust, whom to follow, whom to discard. These intuitions 
of hers about people are born of centuries of intimate first-hand 
dealing with human beings from babyhood on they arc among 


the world's greatest values. And she will be no party to violence. 
She knows that solutions are only worked out by patient coopera- 
tion, and that cooperation must be kindly. She knows the danger 
of violence in the group as she knows the danger of selfishness. 
She has been the world's greatest sufferer from these things, and 
she has suffered them in order that she might protect that thing 
which is her business in the world, the bearing and the rearing 
of children. She has a great inarticulate wisdom born of her ex- 
perience in the world. That is the thing women will give." 

That was what I had hoped to find Madame Roland giving; 
and I had found a politician with a Providence complex. I had 
also found what I had been trying to shove aside, as women do, 
new proof of that eternal and necessary natural law that the 
woman backs up her man. Madame Roland had been Royalist, 
Republican, Revolutionist, according to the man she loved. She 
had served her man with unyielding conviction, would not temper 
or cooperate, intolerant, inflexible. 

But what woman in America seeking the vote as a sure cure for 
injustice and corruption would listen to such a message? That, 
of course, was no affair of mine. My affair was clearing my own 
mind. So far I had only succeeded in adding to its confusion, 
even in destroying faiths I had held. There was the ancient faith 
that you could depend upon the woman to oppose violence. This 
woman had been one of the steadiest influences to violence, will- 
ing, even eager, to use this terrible revolutionary force, so bewil- 
dering and terrifying to me, to accomplish her ends, childishly 
believing herself and her friends strong enough to control it when 
they needed it no longer. 

The heaviest blow to my self-confidence so far was my loss of 
faith in revolution as a divine weapon. Not since I discovered the 
world not to have been made in six days of twenty-four hours 
each, had I been so intellectually and spiritually upset. I had held 
a revolution as a noble and sacred instrument, destroying evil and 
leaving men free to be wise and good and just. Now it seemed to 


me not something that men used, but something that used men 
for its own mysterious end and left behind the same relative pro- 
portion of good and evil as it started with. 

Never did I so realize my ignorance of life and men and soci- 
ety as in the summer of 1894, when I packed up the manuscript 
of my life of Madame Roland to take it back to America for its 
final revision in the peace of my home. 

Of course, I told myself, I would go through with it. I would 
put down what I had found as nearly as I could, even if I had 
not got what I came for. And then came the question, Can I get 
what I came for? Is it to be found the real answer to my ques- 
tion about woman in society, the point or position where she can 
best serve it? Can I find an answer to this other question that 
has so disturbed me the nature of revolution? Apparently, I 
told myself, as I packed my bag finally to go back to America, 
you have only begun ; but at least you have a new starting point. 
Cheer up, make a new plan. And I was making a new plan. I had 
been making one for some time. It was laid down economically, 
professionally, and socially with as much precision as the plan 
with which I had come to Paris in 1891. It was a plan for my 
return to Paris. 

I would go home, get my book into shape, try to convince the 
Scribners that it was worth their publishing. I would get a good 
long visit with my family, the only thing I felt now to be worth 
while in life. I wanted to be sure they were there, that the house 
was there, that my father's chair stood by the living-room center 
table under the drop gas reading light, that the family Sunday 
dinner was what it had always been. I wanted to hear my father 
ask the blessing at the table, to sit with my sister and mother 
afternoons out on the shady side of the lawn. I wanted all the 
home flowers I could gather and it was queer what a big place 
flowers took in my dreams of home. My mother was one of those 
women for whom, they say, "anything will grow." And she had 
had flowers, summer and winter. One of the deprivations of not 


having money in Paris had been that I could not buy flowers. 
I had to content myself with lounging around the flower markets 
on the Square of Notre Dame. I lingered there almost as much 
as I did over the bookstalls along the Seine. But at home I could 
gather all I wanted. 

I would come back to France on different terms. My friendly 
publishers would give me work. I had schemes for books and 
articles which I felt sure would interest the Scribners, that his- 
tory of women, for instance. Then there was this lively, friendly, 
aggressive, delightful McClure's. There were plenty of things I 
could write for them. 

I would take an apartment in the Latin Quarter up high where 
I could look over the roofs, see the sky. I would have a salon like 
Madame Marillier's. She would find me a bonne a tout faire, and 
I could have people in to dinner Madame Marillier, Seignobos, 
and perhaps Lucien Herr and Louis Lapique and Charles 
Borgeaud would come. The summer would bring over my pre- 
cious American friends the Vincents, Emerys, Hazens, and my 
sister must join me. Life would be full and satisfying while I 
cleared up my mind on women and revolution and continued my 
search for God in the great cathedrals. 

It was with this baggage and a terrible thirst for a long drink 
of family life that in June, 1894, I said "Au revoir" to my 
friends. I felt so sure it was Au revoir. 

The first two months after I reached America I spent at Kome 
convincing myself that my family in spite of the trials it had 
been suffering was unchanged in its ways, its loyalties, and its 
philosophy. If life was not as easy materially for my father and 
mother as their long years of labor and self-denial gave them the 
right to hope, I found that they were enjoying that most precious 
experience, the evidence of the continuity of their lives. My 
brother and his fine wife with their children, two girls and a boy, 
lived only a few doors away, and the grandchildren were as much 
in one home as in the other. They gave, I found, a continual fresh 


zest to the household and its doings. My father again had the 
legitimate excuse for going to the circus which our growing up 
had taken from him: "The children want to go." My mother had 
as strong a justification for family picnics and birthday cele- 
brations on which she tired herself out: "The children enjoy 
them so." 

For me those children were a challenging experience. Three 
years had made the youngsters keen observers, and I found them 
appraising me in the fashion of natural unspoiled children. 
Launched on one of the long narrative monologues to which I am 
addicted with intimates I would suddenly be checked by the cool 
impersonal stare of nieces or nephew. They did not know they 
were doing it, but I knew they were taking my measure. They 
were not only an unending interest and joy to me but a salutary 
correction, as they have continued to be to this day. 

But before I was really sure of my standing with them, though 
quite reassured as to that with their elders, and just as I had 
put the finishing touches to my Madame Roland, I was snatched 
away from Titusville by a hurried letter from Mr. McClure. I 
must come at once to New York and write a life of Napoleon 



WHEN I reached New York I found that the situation behind 
the hasty call to come on and write a life of Napoleon was press- 
ing. The Napoleon Movement, which I had been following in 
Paris for two years^ had reached the editorial desk of McClure' s 
Magazine in the form of a permission to reproduce a large and 
choice collection of Napoleon portraits, the property of a distin- 
guished citizen of Washington, D.C. Gardiner Green Hubbard. 
Mr. Hubbard was popularly known as the father-in-law of 
Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone. He was 
as well the father-in-law of the telephone since it was largely 
through his faith in the invention before it was recognized as a 
practical utility, and his shrewd and indefatigable work in secur- 
ing patents, in enlisting supporters, and in fighting rival claim- 
ants, that the telephone had been developed and secured for Mr. 
Bell and his family. 

Mr. Hubbard had long been a Napoleon collector. The revival 
of interest in the man in the early nineties had made him feel 
that his collection ought to be reproduced for the public. But he 
insisted a suitable text that is, one he liked must go with the 
pictures. Mr. McClure had secured something well written from 
an able Englishman, Robert Sherard, a great-grandson of 
Wordsworth; but it was so contemptuously anti-Napoleon that 
Mr. Hubbard would not allow his pictures to go with it. And 
here it was August, and Mr. McClure with the headlong speed 
in which he conducted affairs had announced the first installment 
for November. 

I was both amazed and amused by the idea that a popular 



American magazine would think of such an undertaking. Why? 
I asked myself. I had seen the Napoleon Movement start and 
grow in Paris in 1892 and 1893. I had read everything that 
came along in the way of fresh reminiscences, of brilliant jour- 
nalism, particularly that of Figaro, and I had tucked away in 
my clippings a full set of the Caran d'Ache cartoons which so 
captivated Paris ; but I looked on the Movement as political, an 
effort of the Bonapartists to revive the popular admiration for 
the country's most spectacular figure. If the revulsion against 
the Panama brand of republicanism could be kept alive, fed, 
might there not be a turning to Bonaparte? Just as the anarch- 
ists took advantage of the situation by hurling bombs, so the 
Bonapartists turned to blazoning France with the stories of the 
glory that had been hers under the Little Corporal. It is an 
amazing record of achievement, and one had to be a poor French- 
man, or poor human being for that matter, not to feel his blood 
stir at its magnificence. 

But write a life of Napoleon Bonaparte? It was laughable. 
And yet how could I refuse to try? 

In passing through New York in June I had given Mr. 
McClure the right to call upon me, promising to join his staff 
after my vacation. He would give me forty dollars a week more 
money than I had ever expected to earn. With care I could save 
enough to carry me back to Paris, and at the same time I could 
learn more of the needs of the McClure organization. 

The forty dollars a week was a powerful argument. Moreover, 
I had been talking largely about devoting myself to French 
Revolutionary history. If this wasn't that, what was? But there 
was something else. This man had pulled France out of the slough 
where she lay when Madame Roland lost her head. I had a ter- 
rific need of seeing the thing through, France on her feet. Napo- 
leon had for a time set her there and brought back decency, 
order, common sense. 

I would try, I told Mr. McClure, at his expense, but I should 


have to go back at once to Paris. Where else could I get sufficient 
material? That idea of getting to Paris encouraged me to try, 
but first we all agreed I must go to Washington and talk with 
Mr. Hubbard, look over the collection. Promptly an invitation 
came from Mrs. Hubbard to come at once to their summer home 
out Chevy Chase way on Woodley Lane not far from the Rock 
Creek Zoo. President and Mrs. Cleveland had their summer home 
on the Lane, and the Maclean place, where Admiral Dewey was 
to go when he returned the conquering hero from the Philippines, 
was across the way. Twin Oaks, as the Hubbard place was called 
from two big oaks just in front of the house, was the finest coun- 
try estate in the Washington district, as well as the most beau- 
tiful home into which I had ever been admitted. Mrs. Hubbard 
herself was a woman of rare taste and cultivation, a really great 
lady, and what she was showed from end to end of that lovely 
sunny house. Maids, butler, gardener, all took on something of 
her dignity and gentleness. 

Mr. Hubbard was a man of some seventy years then, wiry, 
energetic, putting in every moment of his time serving his friends 
and family and in worshiping Mrs. Hubbard. I think he tried 
her preference for quiet and dignity and for people of her own 
kind. It must have made her a little uneasy to have a strange 
woman with a meager wardrobe and a preoccupied mind drop 
into her carefree, gaily bedecked society ; but she took it all in 
the best nature and with unvarying kindness and understanding. 
I liked her particularly for the way she accepted Mr. McClure 
in the days to come. He would burst unexpectedly into the house 
at any moment which suited his convenience, his bag loaded with 
proofs of the Napoleon prints, and almost before he had made 
his greeting the bag was open and the proofs spread helter- 
skelter over the carpet. Being very much on my good behavior 
I was a little horrified myself, and then I did so want them to 
like and appreciate Mr. McClure. When I tried to apologize for 
the dishevelment he wrought Mrs. Hubbard laughed. "That 


eagerness of his is beautiful, 59 she said, "I am accustomed to 
geniuses." And so she was, as I was to find. 

It did not take me long to discover that there was plenty of 
material in Washington for the Napoleon sketch. Mr. Hubbard 
had the latest books and pamphlets. It was easy to arrange that 
I have proofs from Paris of two or three volumes of reminiscences 
that had been announced. In the State Department I found the 
full Napoleonic correspondence published by the order of the 
French Government. Files of all the leading French newspapers 
of the period were in one library or another. In the Congressional 
Library there was a remarkable collection of books gathered by 
Andrew D. White when he was minister to Germany from 1879 
to 1881, the bulk of them in German, French, and English. An 
item of this collection not to be duplicated was some fifty volumes 
of pamphlets in several different languages made in Germany 
during the Revolution and covering the Napoleonic era. They 
were for the most part the hasty agitated outbreaks of vox 
populi protests, arguments, prophecies, curious personal ad- 
ventures but among them were rare bits. Taken as a whole 
they reflected the contemporary state of mind of the people of 
Europe as did nothing I had ever seen. 

Convinced of the adequacy of material, I reluctantly gave up 
Paris and settled down to work in the Congressional Library. It 
was not so easy to find a writing table there in the early nineties, 
and it took some persuasion to convince the ruler of the place, 
Ainsworth Spofford, that I was worth the effort, that is that I 
was there to use his books day in and day out until my task was 
done. Certain of that, he tucked me in, though stacks of books 
rising from floor to ceiling had to be moved to find room. 

I wonder if students in the United States know how much 
they owe to this man. He gave his life to making a library first 
to serve Congress, for he held the firm conviction that Congress- 
men generally needed educating, and that books handy in which 
he could find materials for their committee work and their 


speeches would contribute to the process. He made it his first 
business to provide them as near on the instant as possible with 
what he thought they needed. In return for this service he used 
every opportunity to wheedle, shame, beg money from them, 
money for books, equipment, an increased staff, and always for 
better accommodations ; for Mr. Spofford had a great vision of 
a national library, educating not only Congress but the people. 
To realize that vision he had become what he was when I knew 
him, a devoted, domineering, crabbed czar of his realm. He worked 
incessantly, doing everything, knowing everything. He paid little 
attention to the irritated criticisms of those who saw only the 
inconveniences and dust and overcrowding of the old rooms, and 
who charged him with inefficiency and tyranny. His mind was 
on the arrangement and administration of the marble pile al- 
ready under way across the square. This was what he had been 
working for a worthy place for books. His sharp, irritated, 
"There, maybe you can find something in that," banging a dusty 
volume on my table, has often sounded in my ears as in later 
years I worked at the commodious desks of the library he had 
dreamed, and which to my mind is a monument to him more than 
to any other man naturally enough since he was the only man 
I ever knew who had anything to do with its existence. 

Six weeks, and I had my first installment ready. I had done it 
with my tongue in my cheek. Impudence, it seemed to me, to 
write biography on the gallop. I had kept myself to it by repeat- 
ing in moments of disgust: "Well, a cat may look at a king. 
I'll sketch it in, and they can take or leave it." But Mr. Hubbard 
liked what I had done, and that meant Mr. McClure hurried it 
to the printers while I in hot haste went ahead with niy sketching. 

I expected nothing for myself from it more tHan the forty 
dollars a week, and the inner satisfaction of following the thrill- 
ing drama from the terror of '93 down to St. Helena. That 
satisfied me. But to my surprise I did get the last thing in the 
world I had expected, the approval of a few people who knew 


the field. John C. Ropes wrote me he liked the treatment : "Come 
and lunch with me when you are in Boston and see my Napoleon 
collection." I couldn't believe my eyes. Of course I went. 

Charles Bonaparte, the grandson of Jerome Bonaparte, and 
Mrs. Bonaparte invited Mr. Hubbard and me to lunch with them 
in Baltimore to see their collection. Curious the little things one 
remembers of long-ago experiences! Out of that visit I recall 
only that Mrs. Bonaparte told me that in the garret when she 
came into the house where Jerome and his American wife, Eliza- 
beth Patterson, had lived, there were literally barrels of string, 
short lengths neatly rolled, accumulated by the sister-in-law of 
Napoleon. Why remember that when the home was full of treas- 
ures on my subject? Probably because I have never been able to 
throw away a string without a pang. 

Something better worth remembering was the startling resem- 
blance to Napoleon in a certain pose of Charles Bonaparte. As 
he stood talking unconsciously, hands behind his back, slightly 
stooped, he was the counterpart of Raffet's Napoleon, the most 
natural of them all. 

A bit of consolation for my hasty work came from the last 
source I would have expected: William Milligan Sloane, the 
author of an elaborate study, the outcome of years of research, 
recently published by the Century Magazine. That was the way 
biography should be written, I told myself : years of research, of 
note-taking, of simmering and saturation. Then you had a rip- 
ened result. I said something of this once to Mr. Sloane. 

"I am not so sure," he replied, "that all the time you want to 
take, all the opportunity to indulge your curiosity and run here 
and there on bypaths, to amuse yourself, to speculate and doubt, 
contribute to the soundness or value of a biography. I have often 
wished that I had had, as you did, the prod of necessity behind 
me, the obligation to get it out at a fixed time, to put it through, 
no time to idle, to weigh, only to set down. You got something 
that way a living sketch," 


I couldn't have listened to more consoling comment. There 
must have been something in his characterization of "living," for 
now, over forty years since it first appeared in book form, I still 
receive annually a small royalty check for my "potboiling" 
Napoleon ! 

What really startled me about that sketch was the way it set- 
tled things for me, knocked over my former determinations, and 
went about shaping my outward life in spite of me. It weakened 
my resolve never again to tie myself to a position, to keep myself 
entirely footloose ; it shoved Paris into the future and substituted 
Washington. It was certainly not alone a return to the security 
of a monthly wage, with the possibility that the wage would soon 
grow, that turned my plans topsy-turvy, though that had its 
influence. Chiefly it was the sense of vitality, of adventure, of 
excitement, that I was getting from being admitted on terms of 
equality and good comradeship into the McClure crowd. 

The "Napoleon 55 had given the magazine, now in its second 
year, the circulation boost it needed. My part in it was not 
exaggerated by the office or by me. We all agreed that it was 
the pictures that had done it, but the text had framed the pic- 
tures, helped bring out their value, and it had been done at a 
critical moment. 

The success of the "Napoleon" sketch did me a good turn with 
the Scribners, who had had my manuscript of "Madame Roland" 
for some time. They were hesitating about publishing it. There 
was no popular appeal. I was entirely unknown, but the 
"Napoleon" work gave me sufficient backing to persuade them. 
At least that was the explanation the literary head of the con- 
cern, William C. Brownell, gave me. Thus my first book was my 
second to appear. My reward for writing it came from my inter- 
est in doing it, what I learned about how to go at a serious 
biographical study, certainly not in royalties. My first check 
was for forty-eight cents. I had used up my share of the small 
sales in corrections of the proofs and gift copies. 


I must stay with them, declared Mr. McClure. And the more 
I saw of Mr. McClure and his colleagues, the more I wanted to 
stay. Of my first impression of S. S. McClure in Paris I have 
spoken. Closer views emphasized and enlarged that impression, 
He was as eager as a dog on the hunt never satisfied, never 
quiet. Creative editing, he insisted, was not to be done by sitting 
at a desk in a comfortable office. It was only done in the field 
following scents, hunts. An omnivorous reader of newspapers, 
magazines, books, he came to his office primed with ideas, possi- 
bilities, and there was always a chance that among them was a 
stroke of genius. He hated nothing so much in the office as set- 
tled routine, wanted to feel stir from the door to the inner 
sanctum. And he had great power to stir excitement by his sug- 
gestions, his endless searching after something new, alive, star- 
tling, and particularly by his reporting. 

He stood in awe of no man, but dashed back and forth over 
the country, back and forth to Europe interviewing the great 
and mighty. He brought back from his forays contracts with 
Stevenson, Conan Doyle, Anthony Hope, Kipling. It was some- 
thing to find yourself between the covers of a book printing a 
Jungle story. They all came out in McClure's in those years and 
were followed by "Captains Courageous" and "Stalky" as well 
as many of the greatest of the short stories and poems "The 
Ship That Found Herself," "The Destroyers," the "Recessional" 
things that left you breathless and gave to a number the touch 
of genius for which the office searched and sweated. 

Mr. McClure was always peering over the Edge of the Future. 
It was this search for what was on the way that brought to 
McClure's the first article in an American magazine on radium, 
the X-ray, Marconi's wireless, LjlienthaPs and Octave Chanute's 
gliders, Langley's steam-driven air-runner and in time the first 
article on the Wrights' flying machine. 

In my field of biography and history the Edge of the Future 
meant to Mr. McClure the "unpublished" or the so poorly pub- 


lished that its reappearance was equal to a first appearance. The 
success of a feature spurred him to eff ort to get more of it, things 
which would sharpen and perpetuate the interest. He was ready 
to look into any suggestion, however unlikely it might seem to 
the cautious-minded. He was never afraid of being fooled, only 
of missing something. 

His quick taking of a hint, his warm reception of new ideas, 
new facts, had its drawbacks. If they were dramatic and stirring 
Mr. McClure was impatient of investigation. He wanted the fun 
of seeing his finds quickly in print. At one point in the publica- 
tion of the Napoleon he caused me real anxiety by his apparent 
determination to print a story for which I could find no author- 

Among the contributors to the Syndicate at that time was a 
picturesque European with a title and an apparently endless flow 
of gossip. He pretended to have been a member of the Court of 
Napoleon III and in the confidence of the Emperor. This rela- 
tion accounted for his having been invited to join a strange secret 
party made up by the Emperor, who was worried over a rumor 
that the body of Napoleon I did not lie under the dome of the 
Invalides. It was not known who did lie there or what had become 
of Napoleon. To reassure himself the Emperor decided to go 
with a few chosen friends and open the tomb. They gathered in 
the dead of night. The tomb was opened. There lay Napoleon, 
unchanged. The Emperor's mind was at rest. He swore the group 
to secrecy, but took affidavits to be used in case of political ne- 
cessity. The fall" of the Empire seems to have made the gentle- 
man feel that his oath was no longer binding, and that he could 
cash in on his adventure. 

I did not believe the story, but when I expressed my doubt all 
I could get out of Mr. McClure was a severe, "What a pity you 
do not know something about Napoleon!" No new idea to me, 
since it was the first thing I was thinking every morning when 
I went to work. What I did not know, as I worried over the 


possible publication of what I believed a fake, was that in spite 
of his quick and enthusiastic acceptance of a good story, S. S. 
McClure cared above all for the soundness, the truthfulness of 
the magazine. Good stories yes. But they must hold water, stand 
the scrutiny of those who knew. Moreover, he knew what I did not 
as yet, that he could go the limit in his enthusiasms since he had 
at his side a partner on whom he counted more, I think, than he 
then realized to balance his excitements. 

This happened now. The story was in type, scheduled. Mr. 
McClure was going to Europe. "While you're over there, Sam," 
said his partner quietly, "you better verify that Napoleon story. 
We'll hold it until we hear from you." 

A few weeks later came a laconic postal card. "Don't publish 
the story of the opening of Napoleon's tomb. It wasn't opened." 

I never heard the matter referred to after that. By the time 
he returned he had forgotten what to me was a near tragedy, 
to him a joyful bit of editorial adventure. 

I came later to feel that this quick kindling of the imagina- 
tion, this untiring curiosity, this determination to run down 
every clue until you had it there on the table, its worth or worth- 
lessness in full view, was one of Mr. McClure's greatest assets; 
but it was an asset that would have landed him frequently in 
hot water if it had not been for the partner who had saved him 
from the Napoleon hoax, John S. Phillips J, S. P. as he was 
known in the office. 

Living in Washington as I had been doing, I had seen little 
of Mr. Phillips, only heard of him, for his name was the one 
oftenest on Mr. McClure's tongue. His calm and tactful han- 
dling of the "General," as the office called Mr. McClure, in the 
ticklish Napoleon story delighted me. 

"Here's a man," I told myself, "who has a nose for humbugs 
as well as one who knows the power of patience when dealing 
with the impatient." 

At "her desk in the McClure's office, 1898 


As time went on and I spent more and more of it in New 
York, finally settling there at the end of the decade, I had better 
opportunities to watch Mr. Phillips in action. I was not long in 
learning that he was the focus of every essential factor in the 
making of the magazine: circulation, finance, editing. Into the 
pigeonhole of his old-fashioned roll-top desk went daily reports 
of bank balances, subscriptions received, advertising contracts to 
be signed, books sold. I doubt if he ever went home at night with- 
out having a digest of those reports in his head. He knew their 
relation to the difficult problem of putting the undertaking on its 

It was largely Mr. Phillips 5 love of fine printing and his habit 
of keeping track of the advances in printing processes that led 
McClure^s late in the nineties to set up its own plant. It included 
all of the new miraculous self-feeding machines, automatic 
presses, folders, binders, stitchers. 

It was the first magazine plant of the kind in the country and 
had many visitors. Among them was Mark Twain. Mr. Phillips 
tells an amusing story of his visit. As they stood watching the 
press perform, a sheet went awry on the bed. The press at once 
stopped and rang a bell calling for the pressman, who immedi- 
ately came and helped the big automat out of its plight. 

"My God, man!" cried Mark Twain, "That thing ought to 

It did more than cast votes for McClure's. It saved the money 
which finally balanced the budget and then some. 

To those of us on the inside it was always a marvel that John 
Phillips found time to be an editor, as well as a focusing center 
for everything that went on. At the bottom of his constant edi- 
torial supervision was, I think, a passion for the profession. He 
was unmistakably the most intellectual, as well as the best in- 
tellectually trained, person in the office. After graduating at 
Knox College in Illinois he had taken a degree at Harvard and 


later spent two years studying literature and philosophy in the 
University of Leipzig. When he came to the magazine he put 
all his training into the professional problem. 

He was an invaluable aid to the group of staff writers the 
magazine was building up. He was no easy editor. He never 
wheedled, never flattered, but rigidly tried to get out of you 
what he conceived to be your best, taking it for granted that 
you wanted to make the most of your piece and it was his busi- 
ness to help you. I never had an editor who so quickly and un- 
erringly spotted weaknesses, particularly in construction. He had 
a fine feeling, too, for the right word, took the trouble to search 
for it, often bringing in a penciled memo of suggestions long 
after you had decided to let it go as it was. He knew the su~< 
preme value of naturalness, detested fake style. "A kind of 
disease, 3 ' I have heard him say, quoting somebody. 

It always disturbed a few of us that nobody outside of the 
office knew what an important part in the making of McClwre's 
John Phillips played. He had that rare virtue the willingness 
and ability to keep out of the picture if thereby he could make 
sure the picture was not spoiled in the making. 

The one member of the staff besides Mr. McClure whom I 
knew, when I began to find myself so to speak absorbed, was 
already by virtue of his unusual gift for comradeship a friend 
as well as a species of boss that was Auguste F. Jaccaci, a bril- 
liant artist and art editor as well as one of the most versatile 
and iridescent personalities I have ever known. I first met Jac, 
as he was called by everybody, in Paris, when as an advance 
agent of the new magazine he was sounding out possibilities for 
writers and illustrators. He took me out to dinner and paid the 
addition. We talked until late, then he simply put me on my 
omnibus and let me go back to the Latin Quarter alone. Here 
was established the modus opcrandi for our frequent visiting in 
the future, in Paris, in New York, in Washington with one 
revision. After that first dinner I paid my share of the check, 


save on special occasions when Jac, a knowing epicure, selected 
the dinner and treated me. 

It was he who showed me the first copy of McClure's, that of 
August, 1893, showed it to me at five-thirty in the morning, at 
a cafe across the square from the Gare Saint-Lazare where he 
had ordered me by cablegram from London to meet him. For 
nobody in the world excepting a member of my family should 
I have been willing at that hour to cross Paris. But I couldn't 
afford to show a lack of interest. Moreover, I must confess that 
this preposterous order flattered me a little. It was taking me 
man to man, I said to myself. And so I was there. He had to bully 
the gar?on to get a table out on the sidewalk and make us coffee. 

All this was a good basis for a comradeship which lasted to 
his death. It lives in my memory as something quite apart in 
my relations with men. Jac had a certain superior appreciation 
and wisdom never quite put into words, but which you felt. I 
for my part was always straining to understand, never quite 
reaching it. Part of his charm was his confidence in his own su- 
periority and his anxiety lest we didn't quite realize it. And then 
there were his rages. They came and went like terrible summer 
thunder showers. He would roar down the corridor of the office 
while I sat and watched him enthralled. Those rages, whether 
directed at me or somebody else, never made any other impres- 
sion on me than that of some unusual natural phenomenon. 

Here then were the leaders in the crowd to which I had been 
admitted by virtue of a hasty sketch of Napoleon Bonaparte done 
on order. 

Thank God I had sense enough to realize that here were three 
rare personalities, and that to miss such associations would be 
sheer stupidity. Also to know that I was an unusually lucky 
woman to be accepted. 

Then there was the magazine they were making. There was 
something youthful, gay, natural about it which captivated me. 
Often, too, it achieved a most precious thing. Mr. Phillips called 


it a "lift." To be youthful, gay, natural with a "lift" that was 
an achievement. 

And then I found the place so warmly and often ridiculously 
human. Mr. McClure was incapable of standing up before a hard- 
luck story, with the result that he brought into that overcrowded 
office a string of derelicts ranging from autocratic scrub ladies 
to indigent editors brought them in and left them for J. S. P. 
to place. But J. S. P. was not far behind in his sympathy for 
those who were down and out. I watched him more than once 
rescue an author who perhaps out of sheer discouragement had 
taken to drink and landed in jail. Mr. Phillips saw that he was 
bailed out, his debts paid, work given him. I never ceased to 
wonder that these two men loaded with work and responsibility 
should seemingly consider it part of their daily job to rescue the 
wastrel and the disheartened. 

There was reason enough for me to stay with McClure's. 


THE Napoleon sketch had not been finished before Mr. McChire 
was urging me into a new job not writing this time, but editing, 
editing according to his recipe. "Out with you look, see, re- 
port." Abraham Lincoln was the subject. My heart fell. "If you 
once get into American history," I told myself, "you know well 
enough that will finish France. It will also finish your determina- 
tion to solve the woman question and determine the nature of 
revolutions. They will go the way of the microscope and your 
search for God. Are you to spend your life running, now here, 
now there, never follow a path to its end?" Or was I taking my 
ambitions too seriously? It seemed probable. However, I was to 
have five thousand a year if I went along. There was no question 
in my mind but it was my duty to earn that money. 

Lincoln was one of Mr. McClure's steady enthusiasms. I once 
saw him, in puzzled efforts to find the reason for the continued 
life of a certain great American magazine, going through the 
file from the Civil War on, solely to find out what attention had 
been given to Lincoln. "Not a Lincoln article in this volume, nor 
in this," he cried. "It is not a great magazine, it has overlooked 
the most vital factor in our life since the Civil War, the influence 
of the life and character of Abraham Lincoln." 

His insight told him that people never had had enough of 
Lincoln. Moreover, he believed that there was to be had for the 
seeking a large amount of "unpublished" reminiscences. It was 
on this conviction that he started me off. 

He was right about "unpublished" material. Lincoln had been 
dead only about thirty years, and hundreds of those who had 
known him in one connection or another were still living. His 



secretaries Nicolay and Hay had finished their great documen- 
tary life of their chief. They should have personal material not 
in their volumes. There were members of his Cabinet still living, 
members of Congress of his time, editors like Joseph Medill of 
the Chicago Tribune, Horace White of the Chicago Tribune and 
later of the New York Evenmg Post, Colonel McClure of the 
Philadelphia Inquirer. There were scores of men in Illinois towns 
who had traveled the circuit with him, for whom he acted as 
counsel, scores of people who had as a youth heard the Lincoln- 
Douglas Debates, and had been stirred to say, "Lincoln's got it 
right." They had followed him in his fight against the extension 
of slavery and later into the war to save the Union. There was 
indeed no point of his short trail from birth to death where liv- 
ing men and women had not known him as colleagues, friends, 
opponents, critics. 

Also, there had never been a time from the day he had become 
a Presidential candidate to the hour of his assassination that his 
life had not been under scrutiny. Yet it had been difficult to find 
out much about him. "There is not much of me," he told a friend 
searching for biographical material. But there had been enough 
always to touch deep springs in American hearts and consciences. 
Men like William Dean Howells and J. G. Holland, later to 
occupy high places in our literary life, had written campaign 
lives of him. Hardly was he in his coffin before his brilliant, if 
unstable, law partner William Herndon was gathering from all 
sources reminiscences, estimates, documents on his life up to the 
Presidency; and from his gathering Herndon made a story of 
extraordinary vitality and color. Most important always to re- 
main most important was the collection of his Letters and 
Speeches and the ten-volume "Abraham Lincoln : A History" by 
Nicolay and Hay. 

Why do more? What was there to be had? Mr. McClure in- 
sisted that there was plenty if one searched. 

I went to talk it over with John Nicolay, who as well as his fine 


daughter Helen was an honored member of the famous old Wash- 
ington Literary Society where I was a frequent guest. I told him 
what Mr. McClure proposed. Did he not have something he could 
give me? He was emphatic in saying there was nothing of im- 
portance to be had. The collection of letters and speeches he and 
Mr. Hay had made was complete; they had told all there was 
worth telling of Lincoln's life. He would advise me not to touch 
so hopeless an assignment. I think Mr. Nicolay never quite for- 
gave me for going ahead. Later when the results of my search 
began to appear and gradually to shape themselves into a Life 
of Lincoln he came to me one evening to protest. "You are in- 
vading my field. You write a popular Life of Lincoln and you do 
just so much to decrease the value of my property." 

I was deeply distressed. He thought me a poacher. I told him 
I believed he was mistaken. I pleaded that if I could write any- 
thing which people would read I was making readers for him. 
To know a little of Lincoln was for the serious a desire to know 
more. He and Mr. Hay had written something that all students 
must have. I could never hope to make an essential lasting con- 
tribution. But he went away unconvinced. 

Mr. Nicolay's point of view, if not generous, was certainly 
honest. I understand it better now than I did then. He had lived 
through the great years of the Civil War always at Lincoln's 
elbow. He had been the stern, careful, humorless guardian of a 
man who carried his mail in his hat and a laugh on his lips. His 
reverence for him was a religion. He had given years of con- 
scientious hard labor to the editing of the "Complete Works" 
and the writing of the history, and now he was retired. Lincoln 
was his whole life. We all come to rest our case on the work to 
which we have given our best years, frequently come to live on 
that, so to speak. When the time comes that our field is invaded 
by new workers, enlarged, reshaped, made to yield new fruit, we 
suffer shock. We may put up a "No trespassing" sign, but all 
to no use. 


Mr. Nicolay's tragedy was in not having found a fresh field. 
How different it was with his colleague John Hay, whose secre- 
taryship with Lincoln had been an episode in a diplomatic career 
of unusual distinction and usefulness ! In 1894 everybody recog- 
nized that he had a greater future before him. His part in the 
Life of Lincoln had been but one of many contributions to the 
literature of his day. His social circle was the choicest, and he 
was rich. Hay had everything; Nicolay, only Lincoln, and he 
looked on all who touched his field as invaders. 

Mr. Nicolay's rebuff settled my plan of campaign. I would 
not begin at the end of the story with the great and known, but 
at the start in Kentucky with the humble and unknown ; I would 
follow the trail chronologically; I would see for myself what 
sort of people and places those were that had known Lincoln, 
reconstruct the life of his day as far as living men and women 
backed by published records furnished reliable material. I would 
gather documents as I went, bits of color, stories, recollections; 
I would search in courthouses and county histories and news- 
papers ; I would pick up pictures as I went, a picture of every- 
thing that directly or indirectly touched on what I was after. 
I would make sure if among these people who had known him 
there might not be letters not in the "Complete Works 55 ; and, if 
I were lucky, somewhere on the trail I might turn up the im- 
portant unpublished reminiscences which Mr. McClure was so 
certain existed. It was a gamble, the greater because I was so 
profoundly ignorant of American life and history* 

It was in February of 1895, the Napoleon work still unfinished, 
though far enough ahead to give me a month for a preliminary 
survey, that I started for the Lincoln country of Kentucky to be- 
gin work on this program. It was characteristic of Mr. McClure, 
as he saw me off in the deadly cold, to take sudden alarm for my 
comfort. "Have you warm bed socks?" he asked anxiously. "We'll 
send you some if not. It will be awful in those Kentucky hotels." 


It was Louisville aside awful in more than one hotel and train 
in my first month of Lincoln hunting. 

The results were not exciting. They were too fragmentary: 
bits of unrecorded recollections, a picture, a letter, a newspaper 
paragraph, a court record which had passed notice. What was 
to be done with them? Here was no smashing new contribution 
such as an article of unpublished recollections from Mr. Nicolay 
might have been, but here were bits of value if you were to en- 
large and retouch the popular notion of the man Lincoln. It was 
soon clear to Mr. McClure and Mr. Phillips that what I was col- 
lecting must be dovetailed into the published records ; and that, 
they told me, was my business. Before I knew it I was writing 
a Life of Lincoln, though the first three chapters carried the 
legend, "Edited by Ida M. Tarbell." The office seemed gradu- 
ally to conclude that the editor had become the author, though 
I think they were ahead of me in this decision. 

We had a lucky break at the start which launched the under- 
taking even better, I think, than the big article we were looking 
for. Among my Washington acquaintances was a delightful Chi- 
cago woman, Mrs. Emily Lyons. She belonged to the group of 
early settlers who were still at this time in the thick of the excit- 
ing struggle to make the city the richest, the finest physically 
and socially in the country. Their energy, their daring, their 
confidence, their eagerness to learn, to adapt, was one of the 
social phenomena of the day. Now Mrs. Lyons' husband was im- 
portant in the wealth-producing class as she was in the social. 
She knew practically everybody. When she learned that I was 
interested in new material on Lincoln she said at once : "Come to 
Chicago. I'll see that you meet Robert Lincoln, and I'll see that 
he gives you something." Too good to be true. But Mrs. Lyons 
kept her promise when I reached Chicago on my first expedition, 
producing Mr. Lincoln at once. 

"Now, Robert," she ordered as she filled our cups, "I want 
you to give her something worth while." 


To be drinking tea with the son of Abraham Lincoln was so 
unbelievable to me that I could scarcely take note of his reply. 
I searched his face and manners for resemblances. There was 
nothing. He was all Todd, a big plump man perhaps fifty years 
old, perfectly groomed, with that freshness which makes men of 
his type look as if they were just out of the barber's chair, the 
admirable social poise of the man who has seen the world's great- 
est and has come to be sure of himself ; and this in spite of such 
buffeting as few men had had the assassination of his father 
when he was twenty-four, the humiliation of Mary Lincoln's half- 
crazed public exhibition of herself and her needs, the death of his 
brother Tad, the heartbreaking necessity of having his mother 
committed for medical care, and more recently the loss of his only 
son. Robert Lincoln had had enough to crush him, but he was 
not crushed. At the moment he looked and felt, I think, that he 
had arrived where he belonged. The Republican party would 
have been happy, no doubt, to make him its leader if he had 
shown political genius recalling that of his father. They tried 
him out. Garfield and Arthur made him Attorney General, Har- 
rison named him minister to the Court of St. James's, but noth- 
ing happened. He was not political timber, but by this time big 
business wanted him. It was his field. He was now president of 
the Pullman Company. 

I devoured him with my eyes. He was very friendly* To Mrs. 
Lyons' order to do his best for me he laughingly replied, "Of 
course if you say so, Emily." But he went on to say he was afraid 
he had little that would help ine. Hcrndon had taken all his 
father's papers from the law office. I think he used the word 
"stolen," but I am not sure ; at least I knew he felt they were 
stolen. He had protested, but was never able to get anything back. 
As for the Presidential period, all the correspondence was packed 
away in Washington, but it had been fully used by Nicolay and 
Hay. However, he had what he believed to be the earliest portrait 


made of Ms father a daguerreotype never published. I could 
have that. 

I held my breath. If it was true ! I held my breath still longer 
when the picture was finally in my hands for I realized that this 
was a Lincoln which shattered the widely accepted tradition of 
his early shabbiness, rudeness, ungainliness. It was another Lin- 
coln, and one that took me by storm. 

Of course we made it the frontispiece to our first installment, 
and the office saw to it that those whose opinions were of value 
had fine prints of it. It called out some remarkable letters. Wood- 
row Wilson wrote that he found it "both striking and singular 
a notable picture." He was impressed by "the expression of the 
dreaminess, the familiar face without its sadness." Charles Dud- 
ley Warner wrote that he found it "far and away the most out- 
standing presentation of the man" he had ever seen. "To my eyes 
it explains Mr. Lincoln far more than the most elaborate en- 
graving which has been produced." A common enough comment 
was that it "looks like Emerson." Edward Everett Hale wrote 
us that he had shown the picture to "two young people of intelli- 
gence who each asked if it was not Waldo Emerson." 

A valuable and considered comment came from John T. Morse, 
the author of a Life of Abraham Lincoln, as well as editor of a 
series on leading American statesmen : 

I have studied this portrait with very great interest [wrote 
Mr. Morse] . All of the portraits with which we are familiar show 
us the man as made ; this shows us the man in the making. And 
I think every one will admit that the making of Abraham Lin- 
coln presents a more singular, puzzling, interesting study than 
the making of any other man in human history. I have shown it 
to several persons without telling them who it was. Some say a 
poet ; others a philosopher, a thinker, like Emerson. These com- 
ments also are interesting, for Lincoln had the raw material of 
both these characters very largely in his composition though 
political and practical problems so overlaid them that they show 


only faintly in his later portraits. This picture, therefore, is val- 
uable evidence as to his natural traits. 

Robert Lincoln was almost as proud as I was of the character 
of the comment. If he felt, as he well may have done, that he was 
taking a chance in responding so generously to his friend Mrs. 
Lyons' order, he was rewarded by the attention the picture re- 
ceived from those whose opinions he regarded highly. Always 
thereafter he was quick to see me when I took a Lincoln problem 
to him, as I did when I had exhausted all other sources. He was 
always frank and downright. One puzzle I brought amused him 
no little. It was the recurring rumor that Abraham Lincoln had 
written a letter to Queen Victoria early in the war begging her 
not to recognize the Confederacy. He was said to have sent it 
direct. Now no hint, however unlikely, no clue, however shadowy, 
was passed by in what had become in the McClure office a veri- 
table bureau of Lincoln research. "Anything is possible," was our 
watchword. I was carrying on a widespread correspondence and 
continually dashing in one direction or another on what turned 
out often to be wild-goose chases, but also not infrequently 
brought in valuable game. Mr. McClure was especially excited 
over this letter. The State Department pooh-poohed the idea; 
the curator of documents in London was noncommittal. I inter- 
viewed people who were in position to know what was going on, 
but learned nothing. Finally I went to Chicago to see Robert 
Lincoln. His eye seemed harder to me in his office than over Mrs. 
Lyons* tea table, but he quickly put me at ease. I was certain 
that my quest was going to seem ridiculous to him ; indeed, it had 
become a little so to me. But he didn't throw it aside. He picked 
it up and played with it. He had never heard of such a letter 
and doubted if it had been written. 

"If father had done that," he said with emphasis, "and Mr. 
Adams" Charles Francis Adams, then minister to Great Brit- 
ain "had learned of it, he would have resigned. Father knew 


of course that all communication between governments must be 
carried on by the credited ambassadors. 5 ' 

And then he fell to talking laughingly of his own experiences 
at the Court of St. James's. He said he had received all sorts of 
things to be presented to the Queen patchwork quilts, patent 
medicines, books, sheet music. "I suppose," he said, "that lots of 
Americans fancy that their ambassador smokes cigarettes awhile 
every morning after breakfast with the Queen. They take it for 
granted he can drop in for tea any time and present quilts. Of 
course such people see no reason why a President cannot write a 
Queen direct. 55 And he laughed until the tears came. 

That interview put an end for the time being to the search for 
"the letter to the Queen, 55 as the item had come to be called in 
the office. 

When the Life was finally complete Mr. Lincoln wrote me: 
"It seemed to me at first that the field had been too many times 
gleaned to hope for much from the work you were undertaking, 
and I must confess my astonishment and pleasure upon the result 
of your untiring research. I consider it an indispensable adjunct 
to the work of Nicolay and Hay. 5 ' 

Mr. Nicolay, however, never agreed. 

If Robert Lincoln was always friendly Ke threw me once into 
the greatest panic I suffered in the course of my Lincoln work, 
though this was long after the Life was published. I had gone 
to him to ask if he would arrange for me to consult the collec- 
tion of Presidential papers. "Impossible, 55 he said. "They are in 
the safety vault of my bank. I won't allow anybody to see them. 
There is nothing of my fathers there, that is of value Nicolay 
and Hay have published everything ; but there are many letters 
to him which if published now would pain, possibly discredit able 
and useful men still living. Bitter things are written when men 
are trying to guide a country through a war, particularly a Civil 
War. I fear misuse of those papers so much that I am thinking of 
destroying them. Besides, somebody is always worrying me about 


them, just as you are, and I must be ungenerous. I think I will 
burn them." 

I was scared; I feared he would do it, but Herbert Putnam, 
the head of the Congressional Library, had already seen to that. 
He did not burn them; the Library got them finally, but with 
the condition that they were not to be opened until twenty-one 
years after Robert Lincoln's death. He died in 1926. The papers 
will not be available to students until 1947, which probably lets 
me out ! 

The early portrait set the key for the series and, as it turned 
out, a much higher key than I had believed possible. I found 
that court records did yield unpublished documents, that every 
now and then I ran on a man or woman who said more or less 
casually, "Why, we have a letter of Lincoln's written to father 

i n a Copy it if you wish." Occasionally I found a speech not 

in the "Complete Works." By the time the work was put into 
book form in 1899 I had an appendix of three hundred unpub- 
lished speeches and letters. This did not mean that none of them 
had ever been in print. Many of them had appeared in news- 
papers or historical magazines. "Unpublished" meant uncol- 
lected. On the whole this collection stood the scrutiny of experts 
very well, though I think I was swindled in the case of at least 
one document, a forgery by a man recommended to me by an 
honest scholar who had used the man frequently for years. 

Forgery was easy, so was pilfering of documents in those days, 
so little attention did clerks give to their old papers, so glad were 
they to get rid of them. There was frequently no objection to a 
student carrying off anything that interested him. One of the 
most important documents in the controversy over the legitimacy 
of Lincoln's mother is now to be found in the Barton collection 
which the University of Chicago bought. Mr. Barton probably 
asked permission to take it home for examination, a common 
enough practice in Illinois as well as in Kentucky, and forgot to 
return it. Probably most of the legal documents in the private 


Lincoln collections have been stolen. The original thief would 
have been horrified to have that harsh word applied to him. He 
simply put it into his pocket with or without permission, saying, 
"I'll just take this along." 

But while I did get together some three hundred pieces I came 
nowhere near turning up all the letters and speeches then at large. 
I was under a time limit. Since I ended my search scores of items, 
some of value, have been published in one or another collection. 
I shall be surprised if, as time goes on, there does not turn up 
every now and then a genuine letter, though now more than ever 
caution must be taken in accepting a new piece. The forging of 
historical documents has become a lucrative trade. 

From the beginning I did my best to reconstruct the physical 
surroundings of Lincoln's homes and activities. I was particu- 
larly interested in the setting of the Lincoln-Douglas debates, 
which I followed in their order; but it was not until I reached 
Galesburg, Illinois, where on October 7, 1858, the fifth debate 
was staged, that I found the stirring and picturesque material 
I sought in order to picture the scene of a debate. I was delighted 
that it should have been the fifth debate, which I have always 
considered the most important of the series, for it was in that that 
Lincoln brought his argument down to what to him was the crux 
of the whole matter, that is, that slavery was wrong and must be 
kept back or it would spread over the whole country. 

The debate had taken place on the campus of Knox College 
on the east front of its historic Old Main, one of the most beau- 
tiful college buildings of that period in the Middle West. 

I had the luck to find in Galesburg a helper who not only 
enthusiastically seconded my conviction that here was the place 
for the illustration which we wanted, but set out heartily to help 
me find material. This was John H. Finley, my old friend on the 
Chautauqua Assembly Daily Herald. Dr. Finley was now presi- 
dent of the college "the youngest college president in the 
United States," he was popularly called, doing a piece of work 


which was winning him more and more recognition. It was 
through him that I was able to find the newspaper reports of 
the debate. It was through him that I was able to meet people 
who could give me recollections of the day. 

The picture which resulted from our joint efforts was made by 
that excellent artist William R. Leigh, who did many of the 
illustrations for the series. It has had a continuing life, being 
reproduced again and again on the occasion of the commemora- 
tive celebrations of the debate which Dr. Finley inaugurated in 
1896. It was at this celebration that Robert Lincoln made his 
first and only public address about his father. 

The real fun of the Lincoln work, as well as some of the worth- 
while results, came from setting myself little problems. I was 
curious, for instance, to know more of Lincoln as a speaker. 
Whenever I found an Illinois man who had been with him on the 
circuit or in public life I would bombard him with questions. He 
would tell me how Lincoln looked, what his voice was like, how 
he used stories. They all talked more about the Lincoln and 
Douglas debates than any other exhibit, but frequently would 
conclude by saying, "Well, those were good speeches, but they 
were nothing like the Lost Speech. That was the greatest thing 
Lincoln ever did." Or a man would begin by saying, "Well, you 
can never know much about him as a speaker, nobody can that 
never heard the Lost Speech." 

It was, they said, a speech which so stirred his audience that 
the very reporters forgot to take their notes. Knowing reporters, 
I was skeptical about that, so I looked up some of them. They 
all told me that when Lincoln finally ended his speech they 
found themselves standing on, instead of sitting by their writing 
tables and without a note! 

Still I believed that somebody must remember something about 
the speech enough at least to give an idea of the argument. Per- 
haps, I said to myself, I may pick up some of the phrases get 
some real notion of it ; so I went prowling about asking questions 


and finally learned that in the state of Massachusetts was a man 
who was said to have taken notes a cool-headed man a lawyer, 
not a reporter. His name was Henry C. Whitney. He knew Lin- 
* coin well, had travelled the circuit with him, had published a 
"Life on Circuit with Lincoln" with which I was familiar. 

Of course there was nothing to do but look up Mr. Whitney, 
and that I did. To my great satisfaction I found he had a bunch 
of yellowed notes. He had always intended to write them up, he 
said; but when he tried it the result seemed so inadequate that 
he gave it up. 

After much persuasion Mr. Whitney did get out a version of 
the Speech. When he turned it over to me I took it to the men 
in Illinois with whom I had talked and asked them what they 
thought of it. There were those who said, "It's impossible to 
write out that Speech." But there were others who said, "Yes,, 
Whitney has caught the spirit, he has the argument, he even has 
many of the phrases, as of course he would have if he made 

The most emphatic and enthusiastic statement came from a 
man of importance Joseph Medill, the editor of the Chicago 
Tribune. Mr. Medill had been one of the reporters at Blooming- 
ton in 1856 when the speech was made who found himself in the 
end on top of the table without a note ! He thought Mr. Whit- 
ney's version was close to the original. Indeed, he wrote to Mr. 
McClure a long and interesting letter giving his recollections of 
the Convention. In that letter he said : 

Mr. Whitney has reproduced with remarkable accuracy what 
Mr. Lincoln said, largely in his identical language and partly 
in synonymous terms. The report is close enough in thought and 
word to recall the wonderful speech delivered forty years ago 
with vivid freshness. 

Well, that seemed to us reason enough for publishing Mr. 
Whitney's report along with the story of how I had found it, 


what the people who heard the speech in the first place said 
about it, both for and against. And that we did. 

But out in Illinois there were a number of people who did not 
want to give up the tradition. The Lost Speech was the greater 
to them because it was lost. As long as it was lost you could 
make it bigger than any speech any man ever made, and nobody 
could contradict you. And so you will find those who claim that 
the Lost Speech is still lost. And of course you can take it or you 
can leave it. 

More than once when I plumed myself on a "discovery 59 I 
encountered the loyalty of men to their legends. There was the 
Herndon story of Lincoln's failing to appear at the first wedding 
arranged for him and Mary Todd. I realized he rather lets his 
"historical imagination" loose in his description, but I never had 
questioned his story until by chance I mentioned it to one of the 
family, a woman who would have been there if there had ever 
been such a wedding ready. She froze me with her indignation. 
"Mr. Herndon made that story up out of whole cloth. No such 
thing ever happened." Amazed, I flew around to see what other 
men and women of the circle said. They all denied it. A sister of 
Mary Lincoln was particularly indignant because Mr. Herndon 
had put the bride in white silk. "Mary Lincoln never had a white 
silk dress until she went to Washington," she sputtered. 

But in spite of all the documents and evidences I collected 
demolishing the episode, I reaped only sour looks and dubious 
headshakes. I had spoiled a good story or tried to. It still remains 
a good story. Every now and then somebody tells it to me. A 
biographer who tries to break down a belittling legend meets with 
far less sympathy than he who strengthens or creates one. 

The most important piece of ghost writing I ever did came 
in the course of the Lincoln work Charles A. Dana's "Recollec- 
tions of the Civil War." Mr. Dana, at that time the active editor 
of the New York Sim, had had an exceptional war experience 
dating from 1862 to 1865 as assistant to Secretary Stanton. He 


had spent much time in the field ; he had been with Grant at Vicks- 
burg, with Rosecrans and Thomas at Chattanooga, again with 
Grant in the Peninsular Campaign. "The eyes of the government 
at the front, 5 * Mr. Lincoln called him. 

No man in the administration had had better opportunity of 
judging Lincoln, particularly in relation to the conduct of the 
war, and none was a better judge of character. 

Could I get the whole story as far as it concerned Lincoln? 
I hesitated to ask it. The truth was, I was afraid of Mr. Dana. 
I knew him only on the editorial page of the New York Sim. 
He was too clever, too quick-witted, too malicious for me to get 
on with, I feared. They laughed at me at the office when I voiced 
my qualms. Nobody was held higher there than Charles A. Dana. 
He had been a customer of the McClure Syndicate from the be- 
ginning, and they believed in his professional integrity, admired 
his detestation and relentless pursuit of fakers, honored and 
tried to imitate his editorial motto, "If you see it in THE SUN 
it's so." 

"Why should you feel this way?" reproved Mr. Phillips. "Mr. 
Dana is a gentleman." 

"Nonsense! I'll take care of it for you," said Mr. McClure, 
and he rushed to the Sim office. He did fix it and more, for, re- 
turning, he told me with glee that Mr, Dana was willing to give 
his whole war story, that is if I would do the work and arrange 
some practical plan for the interviews. The first step, of course, 
was to find what Dana material, published and unpublished, was 
in the war records. The editing of the records then under way 
was in charge of J. Leslie Perry. Mr. Perry did not believe in 
women fussing with history, particularly with Civil War history. 
War was man's business. 

"How can you understand it?" he shouted at me. 

However, I insisted on my rights, and nobody could have been 
more helpful when he considered a thing an obligation of his 
official position. To the end Mr. Perry's chief satisfaction came 


when he caught me slipping. "That's what comes from allowing 
a woman to write history ," he would say jubilantly. 

Between us we brought together a grist of Dana's dispatches 
and reports. I crammed on the campaigns, and by appointment 
appeared at the end of Mr. Dana's day, about four o'clock in 
the afternoon, for my first interview. 

His desk was stripped of everything that pertained to the 
newspaper, but held a row of the latest books, not only in Eng- 
lish but in three or four other languages, as well as a copy of 
the Cosmopolis, an ambitious and rather pretentious review in 
three or four languages issued for a short time in the late nine- 

Mr. Dana had already repented of his promise to Mr. McClure. 
"I am not interested in what I did in the past," he said irritably. 
"I am interested only in the present; I am trying to keep up 
with the world of today. I am studying Russian now a very 
fascinating language. I don't want to bother with what I did in 
the Civil War. What do you propose?" 

What I proposed was that he let me come to him with a 
stenographer and a set of prepared questions, say three times a 
week. He agreed, and for a good many weeks of the winter of 
'96 and '97 I went regularly to the Sun office after the paper was 
put to press. By the summer of 1897 I had my manuscript well 
in shape. Mr. Dana had never seen any of it. "Send me the proofs, 
I'll read them." 

Publication was to begin in November of 1897. Mr. Dana went 
to London for the summer. I sent the proof of the first chapter 
over with a good many qualms, for it was all in the first person 
"I" and "We." It came back with only a few verbal corrections 
no comments. He was never to read more of his Recollections. The 
number of the magazine which carried the first chapter carried 
the notice of his death. 

We published the entire story, and later the articles were put 
into a book, but with no credit to the ghost ! 


Taking it aU in all it was the most impersonal job I ever had. 
I do not remember that Mr. Dana ever volunteered a word in 
all the many interviews I had with him except on the subject 
in hand, and that in answer to my questions. We never talked of 
the things which I knew he loved pictures, orchids, poetry. It 
was a businesslike operation from start to finish. Probably it was 
his way of punishing me for being afraid of him. 

Another and more important series which came out of the Lin- 
coln work was Carl Schurz's "Reminiscences." Here I acted not 
as a ghost but as an editorial representative. Mr. Schurz had 
given me liberally for my story from his rich Lincoln experi- 
ences the most important unpublished item being the part he 
played in helping Mr. Lincoln launch his plan for compensated 

As I reported these interviews the office became more and more 
convinced that here was a great series of reminiscences just the 
kind of thing that Mr. McClure had hoped for when he first 
commissioned me to gather Lincoln material. Could Mr. Schurz 
be persuaded to write his reminiscences? When I broached the 
subject he almost immediately said: "No, no, I refused Gilder 
[Richard Watson Gilder, editor of the Century] . I cannot do it 
for anybody else. 55 

But I felt so convinced that he ought to do it that I persisted 
in my begging, and finally he began to yield. The handsome sum 
McClure' *$ was willing to pay had something to do with it, for 
Mr. Schurz was not a rich man and here was a chance to leave 
to his family this extra money. Once he had made up his mind to 
the task, he thoroughly enjoyed it; and no one could have been 
more anxious to use material to suit the needs of the magazine. 
Working with him was a joy. He was gay, companionable, full 
of anecdotes, frank in comment. I remember him best at his sum- 
mer home at Lake George where it was necessary for me to go 
two or three times to settle some editorial point. Here you would 
hear him in the morning as he was getting ready for breakfast 


giving the Valkyrie cries, singing motive after motive of the 
Wagnerian operas, in a clear youthful voice. Sometimes he would 
spring up from the table where he was at work, and seating him- 
self at the piano would improvise dashingly until the mood which 
had taken him from his desk passed ; then back to his labor. 

The house stood in the upper corner of a park of fifty or sixty 
acres of woodland not overcleared and open by winding paths 
down the hillside to the lake. Every turn, every rock had its name 
usually celebrating some Wagnerian scene, and as you passed 
Mr. Schurz would roll out the appropriate song. There never 
was a more lovable or youthful man of seventy than Carl Schurz. 

The completion of the Life of Lincoln did not end my interest 
in the man. He had come to mean more to me as a human being 
than anybody I had studied. I never doubted his motives, and he 
never bored me. Still, whenever I have the opportunity I pick him 
up. The greatest regret of my professional life is that I shall not 
live to write another life of him. There is so much of him I never 



THE four years I put in on "The Life of Abraham Lincoln 5 ' did 
more than provide me with a continuing interest. They aroused 
my flagging sense that I had a country, that its problems were 
my problems. This sense had been strong in my years on The 
ChautauquMn, but the period following had dimmed it. Now I 
was beginning to ask myself why we had gone the way we had 
since the Civil War. Was there not enough of suffering and of 
nobility in that calamity to quiet the greed and ambitions of 
men, to soften their hates, to arouse in them the will to follow 
Lincoln's last counsels "With malice toward none ; with charity 
for all ... let us ... do all which may achieve and cherish a just 
and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations." But 
greed and hate and indifference to the sufferings and rights of 
others had been rampant since the war. Did war as a method of 
righting wrongs so loosen the controls which man in times of 
peace establishes over himself that he is incapable of exercising 
the charity, the peaceful adjustments for which Lincoln called? 
Was there always after war an unescapable crop of corruption, 
of thirst to punish and humiliate and exploit the conquered? 
Must men go back where they had started, go back with con- 
trols weakened and burdened with a load of new and unexpected 
problems? True, this war had ended slavery as a recognized in- 
stitution, given the black man legal freedom, but how about op- 
portunity, discipline for freedom? And then again was a war 
necessary to destroy slavery? Was it not already doomed? Lin- 
coln thought so. Doomed because it was showing itself unsound 
economically as well as because it outraged man's sense of justice 
and humanity. And how about the effect of this war on democ- 



racy? Were the problems It loosed less threatening to demo- 
cratic ideals than slavery had been? Were they not possibly a 
more subtle form of slavery, more dangerous because less obvi- 

A nice box of problems to tease me as I worked on Lincoln's 
life and out of the corner of the eye watched what was going on 
in the country. The number of things in America I was beginning 
to want to find out about was certainly dimming the things in 
France I had wanted to find out about. Unquestionably these new 
interests were helping to wean me from the plan on which I had 
settled. The process was painful. More than once I told myself 
that the sacrifice of my ambitions, of my love for Paris, for my 
friends there, was too much to ask of myself. I could never re- 
place those interests and associations ; but I was replacing them 
and suffering as I realized what was happening, revolting that 
nothing in my life seemed to last, to be carried through. By 
nature I was faithful. To give my time to new friends, neglect old 
ones in spite of never forgetting them, as I never did, was dis- 
loyal. I was beginning to repeat dolefully as well as more and 
more cynically, "Tout lasse, tout casse, iout passe" 

Washington was helping in my weaning. The city as I knew 
it in the 1890's is lost in the Washington of the 1930's. The 
pivots on which it swings, the Capitol, the White House, were 
there then to be sure. So was the Washington Monument ; but 
they stood by themselves, the near-by flanking unpretentious, 
often squalid. Today they are almost lost in the piles of marble 
heaped about them to accommodate the ambitions and creations 
of the last frantic twenty years. The town has stretched unbe- 
lievably to the northwest. Where once I knew wide lawns, wooded 
tracts, pleasant walks, are now acres upon acres of apartment 
houses and hotels. They have engulfed the delightful Woodley 
Lane where my friends the Hubbards lived in summer, and they 
have changed no less the quarter in which their fine town house 
stood Connecticut Avenue where it merges into Dupont Circle. 


Great houses were only just beginning then to find their way 
into the Circle. George Westinghouse had built there, so had 
Mrs. Leiter of Chicago. Old Washingtonians sniffed at their 
houses and their ways, laughed at Mrs. Leiter's "spinal stair- 
case 55 as she was said to call it, and professed disgust at Mrs. 
Westinghouse's "reported" white velvet tablecloths. They re- 
sented the invasion of rich women attracted by the social possi- 
bilities of a diplomatic circle, of rich men attracted by the field 
for lobbying furnished by a Congressional circle. 

But of this side of Washington I saw nothing. My social life 
was shaped largely by the continued kindness of Mr. and Mrs. 
Hubbard. I had become almost one of the family, was freely in- 
vited to meet their friends. Their circle was wide, including diplo- 
mats and statesmen and eminent visitors, though its core was the 
large group of distinguished scientists which made up the work- 
ing forces of the Smithsonian Institution, the Agriculture De- 
partment, the Geological Survey, the Bureau of Mines, the Ob- 
servatory. An important group they were, and nobody in town 
appreciated them more or took more pains to show his apprecia- 
tion than Mr. Hubbard. Naturally the center of this group was 
Alexander Graham Bell, married to the Hubbards' daughter, 

The Bells lived across the Avenue from the Hubbards, and I 
soon had the good fortune to be welcomed there a great privi- 
lege, for both Mr. and Mrs. Bell were rare persons. Mrs. Bell's 
story is well known, but it was only in seeing her with her hus- 
band and daughters that one could realize what a fine intellect 
and what an unspoiled and courageous character she had. She 
had been deaf and dumb from infancy, and Mr. Hubbard had 
determined to open life to her. Among the teachers of speech he 
brought to her was a young man then at Boston University 
Alexander Graham Bell. Under Ms tutelage she made rapid 
strides, and the two young people learned to love one another. 
At that time Mr. Bell was giving his nights to trying to "make 


iron talk." I once heard Mr. Hubbard say that when he found 
Mr. Bell had made iron talk he told him he must develop his 
telephone to a practical point or he could not have Mabel. Prob- 
ably no other argument would have persuaded Alexander Graham 
Bell, for he was the type of inventor whose interest flags when 
he has solved his problem. Let somebody else take care of the 
development. He would be off on a new voyage of discovery. 

At the time I came into the circle Mr. Bell was, I think, the 
handsomest and certainly the most striking figure in Washing- 
ton. It was amusing to hear people discussing who was the hand- 
somest man in town. There were various candidates General 
Miles, General Greely, Colonel John Foster ; but while I conceded 
they all had their points no one of them had the distinction of 
Alexander Graham Bell, and no one of them certainly had the 
gay boyish appetite for what he found good in life. He was more 
like Massa Henry Watterson in that than anybody else I have 
ever known, though the activities and interests of the two were 
utterly different. 

Mr. Bell's plan of living was modeled to suit himself. Often 
he slept through the day when interruptions naturally came and 
the telephone most often rang ! If restless at night he played the 
piano. Mrs. Bell could not hear, and the rest of the family, being 
young and devoted, were never disturbed. He was up and began 
his day around four to six. Often there were guests for dinner, 
for everybody of note the world over who came to Washington 
wanted to meet him. On Wednesdays after dinner there usually 
gathered a group of scientists and public men to talk things over. 
Mr. Bell was something to see at these dinners and gatherings, 
the finest social impresario I ever saw in action, so welcoming, 
appreciative, eager, receptive. I thought then I had never seen 
anybody so generous about what others were doing. He loved to 
draw out great stories of adventure and discovery and would 
silence all talkers when once such narrating was started. Partly 
this was because of Mrs. Bell, his intense desire that she enjoy 


everything that was going on ; and she did, thanks to the intelli- 
gent devotion of her daughters, Elsie and Marian, the first now 
the wife of Gilbert Grosvenor, one of the founders and the pres- 
ent editor of the National Geographic Magazine, the second the 
wife of David Fairchild, botanist and explorer, the organizer in 
the Agriculture Department of the work now known as the 
Division of Foreign Plant Exploration and Introduction two 
men to whom the public owes big debts for services. 

The most distinguished member of this Washington group of 
scientists after Mr. Bell was Professor Samuel Pierpont Langley, 
the head of the Smithsonian Institution, at that time agonizing 
over the problem of flying. 

When I first met Dr. Langley in 1894 he was working on his 
air runner or aerodrome, a machine which, as I gathered from 
the talk I heard and did not too well understand, was to run on 
the air as an engine does on rails. He finally came out with a 
machine weighing about twenty-five pounds made up of a pair 
of rigid wings, twelve to fifteen feet across, and an engine which 
weighed not over seven pounds. It had cost him four years' work 
to develop the engine to that lightness. But would it fly? Could 
it be launched? Attempts were made from a houseboat down the 
river. These experiments were carried on with the utmost secrecy, 
for Dr. Langley was a taciturn man, proud, dignified, always 
awesome to me. He knew that there was a public that thought 
him a little touched in the head and wondered that the Govern- 
ment kept, as director of a great national institution, a man 
who held the crazy notion that one day people would fly, and 
who was willing to give his days and nights to proving it. 

Dr. Bell took the most genuine and enthusiastic interest in Dr. 
Langley's experiments, was always present, I think, when an 
attempt to launch the air runner was made. I recall his disap- 
pointment when it fell, his rejoicing when it did finally fly. This 
was one day in May of 1896. I have heard him tell how sud- 
denly the air runner rose to one hundred feet and flew in a big 


circle. It did not fall but made a perfect landing. Again it was 
launched and again it flew; and this time it went over the land 
and over the treetops, came back to the river and when its power 
was exhausted settled quietly on the water. 

Inside that little circle at Dr. Bell's there was the conscious- 
ness of a great discovery, a certain solemnity that again it had 
been proved that labor, training, thought, patience, faith are not 
in vain. 

Mr. McClure was as excited as any one of the Washington 
group over the news. He must immediately have an article from 
Dr. Langley himself, and I was commissioned to get it. I think 
perhaps it was a little strain on Dr. Langley's good will to have 
a young woman come to him and say : "Now we want the whole 
story of how you have done this thing, what it means; but no 
scientific jargon, please. We want it told in language so simple 
that I can understand it, for if I can understand it all the world 
can." Which, knowing me, he probably knew was true. He con- 
sented, and I had the privilege of talking with him occasionally 
about the article, of reading what he did and saying when neces- 
sary, "I don't see quite what this or that means," of seeing 
him docilely make it clear enough for me to understand. A year 
after the Langley contraption first flew we had in McClure's 
Magazine the whole story. 

As a reward for my persistent effort to see that article come 
out to his satisfaction, he gave me what I think he considered the 
greatest treat he could give his friends. He took me to the Rock 
Creek Zoo after the crowds had gone and, with the help of the 
director, Dr. Baker, made the kangaroo jump and the hyena 

But the public interest in his air runner, the fresh honors that 
now came to him did but little to wipe out the bitterness that ridi- 
cule had stirred in Dr. Langley. "There was a time," he said as 
he was going to England to take a degree which Oxford Uni- 
versity (I believe it was) was giving him, "there was a time when 


I should have been glad of this. It means little now." Yet he had 
his moments of strong emotion. Rarely have I been more moved 
than at a dinner at Mr. Hubbard's soon after the Greco-TurMsh 
War began in 1897. A half-dozen men of seventy or thereabouts 
were at the table, among them Senator Hoar of Massachusetts, 
Major Powell, Edward Everett Hale, and Dr. Langley. They 
talked only of Greece and her helplessness before the Turk. They 
recalled the wave of sympathy which in their boyhood had swept 
over the country when the Turk attacked Greece. It was to 
Greece, said Senator Hoar, that he first gave money of his own, 
a long treasured twenty-five-cent piece. Dr. Hale and Dr. Lang- 
ley fell to quoting Byron. Their voices shook as they declaimed, 

"The Isles of Greece, the Isles of Greece ! 

Earth ! render back from out thy breast 

A remnant of our Spartan dead ! 
Of the three hundred grant but three, 
To make a new Thermopylae." 

"It was Byron," said Dr. Langley with an emotion of which I 
had thought him incapable, "who first stirred in me an enthusiasm 
for man's struggles for freedom, with a desire to join those who 
fight for it." He thought Byron first opened England's eyes to 
her duty to the oppressed of the Continent of Europe and at the 
same time opened the eyes of the Continent to the love of liberty, 
the sympathy with the helpless, in English literature. Certainly 
here was a Dr. Langley I had never before glimpsed. 

This was not all of Washington I was seeing. As in Paris I set 
aside time for learning the city. How thin and young and awk- 
ward Washington seemed compared with the exhaustless life 
and treasures of Paris ! Here was none of that wisdom of experi- 
ence, that subtile cynicism, that pity and patience with men which 
made Paris like a great human being to me. Nor was there here 
the ripe charm of old palaces, quaint streets, hidden corners. 


Everything was new, sprawling in the open. But if Washington 
had little to offer but promise it had that in abundance, and it 
did not know its own lacks. It was too full of pride in what it 
had done since John Adams moved into the White House and 
Congress into the Capitol. And then I had a problem to think 
about the Washington Lincoln knew and I went about with 
him from White House to War Department, up to the Congress, 
down to the Arsenal, into this and that hospital, up to the Sol- 
diers' Home, over to Arlington. The pain and tragedy behind al- 
most every step he took in the town dignified its unfinished streets, 
gave a meaning and a sanctity to its rawness. By such steps I 
told myself did Paris come through the centuries to be what she is. 

But I did more than follow Lincoln about. I wanted to know 
the Washington of thirty years after Lincoln, and so I went to 
the Capitol when debates promised excitement, and I missed no 
great official show. When McKinley's inauguration came in 1896 
I arranged to see it all. Once, I told myself, will do forever for 
an inauguration as it has done. I began after breakfast and 
did not stop until the Inaugural Ball was far on its way. A fine 
colorful sightseeing experience, leaving a series of pictures which 
have never quite faded. Years later one of these pictures brought 
me a curious bit of minor political history. I was trying to per- 
suade Richard Olney to write the story of the Venezuela message 
for McClure's and remarked that the first time I met him was at 
the McKinley Inaugural Ball. To my surprise he flushed. 

"Outgoing Cabinet members are not expected to attend the In- 
augural Ball of a new President," he said. (I hadn't known that, 
or of course I should not have spoken.) "But there was a reason 
for my presence. General Miles, then head of the Army, had come 
to me to say that there were rumors of an attempt on McKinley's 
life. ^Suppose that both he and Hobart should be assassinated be- 
fore a new Cabinet is appointed,' he said. 'You would be Acting 
President. You must go to the Ball, walk with Mrs. McKinley, 
and stay until the end.' I didn't like the idea, but General Miles 


insisted ; so I went. But the new President walked with his wife, 
and I had to hang around, conscious that more than one Repub- 
lican was saying, 'What's Olney doing here? 5 " 

What was behind General Miles' precaution, I never knew. 
The lives of presidents are always in danger, even in what we are 
pleased to call normal times, there being always plenty of griev- 
ances, real and fancied, to be squared. At the moment of the 
McKinley inauguration the despair and bitterness of many radi- 
cals over the defeat of Bryan were outspoken. The experience of 
the country with assassination in the thirty preceding years had 
been alarming. A man in General Miles' position charged with 
the safety of the heads of the government must keep in mind all 
possibilities. It would, of course, have been easy to assassinate the 
President and Vice President at the Ball. Given clever and de- 
termined conspirators, there would have been a chance to seize 
the government while a new President was being elected. But 
with a determined man like Olney on the ground, backed by a 
watchful and sufficient military guard scattered through the 
great Patent Office where the Ball was held, a temporary govern- 
ment could have been formed while the murderer was being 

How General Miles would have enjoyed such a coup! In the 
first years of McKinley's administration I came to know him 
well, another one of the friendly acquaintances made in carrying 
out the varied tasks that came my way in my position as a con- 
tributing editor of McClure's Magazine. For several years popu- 
lar interest in military affairs had been growing. There were 
several reasons : doubt of the efficiency of our army, talk of revolu- 
tion, and particularly our strained relations with Spain. 

Interest was still further excited in 1896 by the outbreak of 
the Greco-Turkish War, which, starting as a skirmish, soon 
grew until it looked as if it might involve all southeastern Europe, 
perhaps England, Russia. Obviously we should have an observer 
over there, and so in May General Miles and a staff started for 


the field. He studied the military organization of Turkey and 
of Greece, watched the armies lined up for battle, saw the end 
of the war. From Greece he and his staff went to London to 
represent the United States at Queen Victoria's Jubilee. Follow- 
ing that great show he had attended the autumn maneuvers of 
the greatest of then existing armies, those of Russia, Germany, 
and France. 

Mr. McClure thought there was an important story in Gen- 
eral Miles' observations, and I was commissioned to get it. But 
General Miles, willing and glad as he was to tell of his European 
experiences he had never been abroad before wanted to tell 
only of the sights he had seen, sights which had nothing to do 
with armies, their equipment, and their maneuvers. All that was 
shop for him. "They'll think I didn't see anything but soldiers 
and guns," he growled, "think I'm not interested in history and 
art. People don't know how wonderful Pompeii is, and I would 
like to tell them. A lot of them never heard of Alexander's 
sarcophagus finest thing I ever saw. There are countries that 
would pay a million dollars to get it, and there's the Parthenon 
and Moscow and the Tower of London and the Louvre. There 
are the things I want to write about." And he was preparing to 
do it, as I saw by the stack of Baedekers, the volumes of the 
Britannica, the pamphlets and travel books on his desk. It took 
all my tact and patience to persuade the General that, whatever 
his interest, ours was centered only on military Europe. 

In the course of this distasteful task I came to have a real 
liking for General Miles. He was as kindly and courteous a gen- 
tleman as I have ever known, and certainly the vainest. One of 
the real disappointments of his European visit was that the 
American uniform was so severe. There were hundreds of lesser 
ranks than himself on parade with three times the gold braid he 
was allowed. When it came to the Queen's Jubilee he revolted 
and had special epaulets designed. I was at Headquarters the day 
they arrived from London, and nothing would do but I must see 


them. He ordered the box opened, disappeared Into an inner 
office and came back arrayed in all the glory the American Army 
allowed him. 

I was working on the Miles articles on February 16, 1898, 
when the Maine blew up in Havana harbor. As no message came 
canceling my appointment with General Miles that morning I 
presented myself as usual though with some misgiving, for it 
seemed as if the very air of Washington stood still. At Head- 
quarters there was a hush on everything, but the routine went 
on as usual. As we worked an orderly would come in with the 
latest report: "Two hundred fifty-three unaccounted for, two 
officers missing, ship in sis fathoms of water only her mast visi- 
ble, sir." Then a second report: "All but four officers gone, sir, 
and there are two hundred women up in the Navy Department." 
(The Army and Navy were in the same building in 1898.) 

The General made no comment, but every now and then blew 
his nose violently, while his smart Chief of Staff, a gallant simple- 
minded officer with a bullet hole in his cheek, kept saying to 
himself : "Ain't it a pity ! By Jove, ain't it a pity !" 

Through the two months between the blowing up of the Maine 
and the declaration of war I vacillated between hope that the 
President would succeed in preventing a war and fear that the 
savage cries coming from the Hill would be too much for him, 
as they were in the end. I honestly believed then as I do now 
that he was doing his best, and this in spite of the fact that my 
heart was hot with resentment for what I considered his cowardly 
desertion of my Poland friends in 1893. 

McKinley was patient, collected, surprisingly determined. 
Everybody indeed in the departments where the brunt must fall 
if war came seemed steady to me, as I watched things in my fre- 
quent visits to General Miles' Headquarters. Everybody was at 
his post, everybody except Theodore Roosevelt, Assistant Secre- 
tary of the Navy. He tore up and down the wide marble halls 
of the War and Navy Building "like a boy on roller skates," 


a disgusted observer growled. More than once he burst into Gen- 
eral Miles 9 office with an excited question, an excited counsel. 
Already he was busy preparing his Rough Riders for the war to 
be if he had his way. Already he saw himself an important unit 
in an invading army. 

I remember this because it shocked me more than anything else 
I was noting. What chance had government in peace or war if 
men did not stay on their jobs? Was not fidelity to the trust 
committed to you a first obligation? And if Theodore Roosevelt 
felt as he evidently did that he was needed in the Army, did 
not good manners if nothing else require resignation? I was 
very severe on him in 1897, the more so because he had bitterly 
disappointed me in 1884 when he had refused to go along with 
the mugwumps in the revolt against Prohibitive Protection, re- 
fused and gone along with my particular political abomination, 
Henry Cabot Lodge. I had not been able to reconcile myself to 
him even when as a Police Commissioner of New York City he 
made his hearty and effective fight on the town's corruption. 

The steadiness of General Miles and his staff in the weeks be- 
tween the blowing up of the Maine and the breaking out of war 
with Spain raised my respect for Army training as much as 
Roosevelt's excited goings-on antagonized me. At the same time 
my contempt for the outpouring of Congress in a crisis was 
modified by almost daily association with one of its oldest mem- 
bers, the Senator from Massachusetts, George Frisbie Hoar. 

When I had decided in 1894 that sufficient materials were at 
hand in Washington for the sketch McClwre's wanted, to go 
with Gardiner Hubbard's Napoleon portraits, I went to live 
at a boarding house on I Street between Ninth and Tenth rec- 
ommended by Mrs. Hubbard, chiefly because Senator and Mrs. 
Hoar lived there. The neighborhood had been not so long before 
one of the desirable residential sections of the town, but busi- 
ness and fashion were pushing well-to-do residents into Con- 
necticut and Massachusetts avenues, into Dupont Circle and 


beyond. The fine old brownstone houses left behind were being 
used by trade and occasionally by owners, whose incomes had been 
cut or destroyed, as rooming or boarding houses. The head of the 
house into which I was received was a Mrs. Patterson, the widow 
of a once distinguished Washington physician. She and her 
daughter Elizabeth made of their home one of the most com- 
fortable and delightful living places into which I had ever 
dropped. Such food! And best of all the Senator. 

At this time Senator Hoar was close to seventy years of age. 
He had been in Congress for twenty-sis consecutive years, seven- 
teen of them in the Senate, and everybody knew that as long as 
he lived Massachusetts Republicans would insist on returning 
him. He embodied all the virtues of the classic New Englander 
and few of the vices. His loyalty was granite-ribbed; he re- 
vered the Constitution and all the institutions born and reared 
under it. He was proud of the United States, but his heart be- 
longed to Massachusetts. In his mouth the name took on a beauty 
and an emotion which never ceased to stir me Westerner that 
I was. 

Combined with his patriotic loyalties was a passionate devotion 
to classic literature Greek, Roman, English. He knew yards 
of Homer and Virgil, as well as of the greatest of the early Eng- 
lish writers, and not infrequently at our Sunday morning break- 
fasts he would repeat long passages in his sonorous voice. This 
was the one hour in the week when the Senator laid aside all 
formality and became our entertainer. He never spoiled things 
by opinions on current events, but poured forth daily whatever 
came into his mind. We were a good audience, willing to sit until 
noon if he would talk. He claimed that it was Mrs. Patterson's 
codfish balls and coffee that put to flight all his cares and loos- 
ened his tongue. That Patterson Sunday morning breakfast was 
enough to put gaiety into any heart. Senator Hoar had already 
celebrated it in a widely circulated letter to a Pennsylvania editor 
who attacked him for never having done a stroke of useful work 


in his life and, what greatly amused the Senator, living in Wash- 
ington on "champagne and terrapin !" : 

My dear man [he wrote the irate critic], your terrapin is all in 
my eye, very little in my mouth. The chief carnal luxury of my 
life is in breakfasting every Sunday morning with an orthodox 
friend, a lady who has a rare gift for making fish balls and coffee. 
You unfortunate and benighted Pennsylvanians can never know 
the exquisite flavor of the codfish, salted, made into balls and 
eaten on a Sunday morning by a person whose theology is sound, 
and who believes in all the five points of Calvinism. I am myself 
but an unworthy heretic, but I am of Puritan stock, of the sev- 
enth generation, and there is vouchsafed to me, also, some share 
of that ecstasy and a dim glimpse of that beatific vision. Be 
assured, my benighted Pennsylvania friend, that in that hour 
when the week begins, all the terrapin of Philadelphia or Balti- 
more and all the soft-shelled crabs of the Atlantic shore might 
pull at my trouser legs and thrust themselves on my notice in 

As we all knew, Senator Hoar had no money for "champagne 
and terrapin." He had sacrificed his law practice to public serv- 
ice, "getting a little poorer year by year." As a matter of fact 
he had no interest in making money. I never saw him more irri- 
tated than after taking a difficult case for which he was to get 
a fee of twenty-five thousand or thirty thousand dollars. 

"Earning money is hateful to me," he said. "Never in all my 
life before have I undertaken a thing I did not want to do simply 
for money. Some things I like to do, believe that I can do better 
than I could do anything else. I never was such a donkey be- 
fore. There are so many things I long to do ; one of them is to 
learn Italian well enough to read Dante and Boccaccio and 
Ariosto in the original; and I want to commit Homer to mem- 
ory. I would like to have my head packed with Greek" 

The Senator's Sunday morning talks were rich with anecdotes 
of New England types. He had his antipathies Margaret Fuller 


Ossoli was one of them. He used to tell the story of an old 
Concord doctor who was called up in the night by a quavering 
voice outside his window asking, "Doctor, how much camphire 
can a body drink without its killing 5 em? 55 "Who drunk it?" he 
asked. "Margaret Fuller." "A peck, 55 snapped the doctor, shut- 
ting his window with a bang. 

Dr. Mary Walker, who in her rather shabby man's attire 
was a familiar figure in those days, was a particular abomina- 
tion. She made him "creepy, 55 he said. Simply to mention her, 
I found, would dry up his talk. But the mention of Jonathan 
Edwards 5 name, although he particularly detested him, always 
loosened his tongue. "He was an inhuman cuss, 55 he said one 
morning. "There is a true story of his riding through Northamp- 
ton with a slave boy whom he had just bought tied to a cord 
and trotting behind the horse. *Is thee doing as thee would be 
done by? 5 a woman of his faith called him, and Edwards said, 
*I 5 11 answer you some other time. 5 55 

Senator Hoar rather enjoyed calling a man whose acts he dis- 
liked by hard names. Indeed he very much enjoyed salty words 
generally, and one morning ably defended them : " 'Dammit' 
is a useful word. It eases one 5 s feelings. 55 He also put up a strong 
argument for "whoppers. 55 "They are, 55 he contended, "a valu- 
able weapon with the impertinent and the imbecile. 55 There was 
much boyish mischief in him. He greatly admired our wholesome 
big-hearted Elizabeth, daughter of the house, her common sense 
and her gaiety, and loved to pinch her plump arm. He did it 
in the presence of us all and in spite of Mrs. Hoar 5 s reproaches. 
"Do you know, Elizabeth, 55 he said one evening as he followed 
us up the stairs from the dining room, "that it has taken nine- 
teen hundred years of Christian civilization to produce a man 
who does not pinch a gir! 5 s pretty ankle when she is going up- 
stairs ahead of him? 55 

In July, 1898, after Congress had adjourned Senator Hoar 
made up a party for a trip through the Berkshire Hills and I 

194* ALL rsr THE DAY'S 

had the good fortune to be asked to join it. I had heard him 
talk much of his walking trips there in Harvard days with 
his favorite classmate, Francis Child: u as great a man at seven- 
teen when he entered college," he said, "as when he died a real 
genius." Prom the moment our little caravan left his home at 
Worcester the trip was like champagne to him. Trees, grave- 
yards, epitaphs, views, the homes of the honored in this day 
and past days kept him busy. There was the Sheffield elm which 
we must stop to measure, the grave of Mumbet with the inscrip- 
tion his favorite Catharine Sedgwick had written for it; there 
was the best view of the Sleeping Napoleon on Cedar Mountain 
this for me. Then we must spend the night at a certain inn on 
Mount Washington to give Elizabeth plenty of time to look 
up family graves and records. Her father had been born on 
Mount Washington, which was one of many reasons why the 
Senator admired her. He went with her to look up the graves 
and, returning late, said, "If we had not feared you would wait 
supper we would have stayed and been buried there." 

I have certainly never known anyone for whom life at seventy 
was more joyous and full. He hated weakness, as well as every- 
thing that impaired his dignity, his self-reliance. He was a true 
untouchable and would fall into a rage if friend or stranger 
offered to assist him. "Unhand me," he thundered at a street 
car conductor who one day seized his arm to help him up the 
steps, and his wrath lasted until he had told us about the indig- 
nity at the dinner table. On this Berkshire trip a little accident 
happened to him which caused an explosion of the same nature. 
We were at an inn in the mountains, and after dinner had gone 
on to the lawn. The Senator was sitting on a rustic bench which 
gave way, turned him on his back, feet in the air. We all ran 
to assist him but were stopped in our tracks by a stentorian voice 
which roared, "I decline to be assisted." 

But this was the Senator on a vacation, the Senator of our 
Sunday morning's breakfast. Take him when public affairs were 


in a serious tangle, and he was glum, unapproachable. He suf- 
fered deeply over the trend to imperialism after the Spanish- 
American War. To save Cuba from the maladministration of 
Spain, to watch over her until she had learned to govern herself 
seemed to him a noble expression of Americanism, but to annex 
lands on the other side of the globe for commercial purposes 
only, as he believed, was to be false to all our ideals. He had 
the early American conviction that minding one's own business 
was even more important abroad than at home. He wanted no 
entangling alliances, and in those days following the treaty of 
Paris he feared as never before for the country. Certainly there 
were far fewer Sunday morning breakfast table talks. His great- 
est speech against the advancing imperialism was made in April 
of 1900. At the head of the printed copy of his speech distrib- 
uted by the Senate he placed these sentences : 

No right under the Constitution to hold Subject States. To 
every People belongs the right to establish its own government 
in its own way. The United States can not with honor buy the 
title of a dispossessed tyrant, or crush a Republic. 

I was learning something of what responsibility means for a 
man charged with public service, of the clash of personalities, of 
ambitions, judgments, ideals. And it was not long before I was 
saying to myself, as I had not for years, You are a part of this 
democratic system they are trying to make work. Is it not your 
business to use your profession to serve it? But how? That was 
clearly now my problem. I could not run away to a foreign 
land where I should be a mere spectator. Indeed, I was begin- 
ning to suspect that one great attraction of France was that 
there I had no responsibility as a citizen. I must give up Paris. 
Between Lincoln and the Spanish-American War I realized I 
was taking on a citizenship I had practically resigned. 

The war had done something to McClure's as well as to me. 
In all its earlier years its ambition had been to be a wholesome, 


enlivening, informing companion for readers, to give fiction, 
poetry, science of wide popular appeal an ambition which it 
must be admitted opened the pages occasionally to the cheap, 
though it rarely excluded the fine. An eager welcome was given 
new writers. Indeed it was always a great day in the office when 
we thought a "real one" had reached us. While it fostered new 
writers it held on to the best of the old. It had touched public 
matters only as they became popular matters. Thus, when the 
Spanish-American War came it was quickly recognized that it 
yielded more interesting material than any other subject. There 
was a great war number and there was a continuous flow of war 
articles. McClure's suddenly was a part of active, public life. 
Having tasted blood, it could no longer be content with being 
merely attractive, readable. It was a citizen and wanted to do a 
citizen's part. It had a staff sympathetic with this new concep- 
tion of the work. Mr. McClure had had in mind from the start 
the building of a permanent staff of good craftsmen, reporters 
on whom he could depend for a steady stream of contributions, 
as well as of editorial ideas. He wanted them versatile, flexible, 
as interested in the magazine as in themselves, capable of sink- 
ing themselves in a collective effort. 

After I came in, the first to become such a permanent acqui- 
sition was Ray Stannard Baker. An article on the capture of 
John Wilkes Booth by Baker's uncle. Colonel L. C. Baker, writ- 
ten from personal reminiscences and documents, was submitted 
by Baker, then on the staff of the Chicago Record. It was "the 
General's" ideal of a McClure's article. Baker was urged to write 
more, and each piece emphasized the first impression. The year 
after his first appearance in the magazine, May, 1897, he joined 
the staff and became a regular contributing editor. 

Baker was an admirable craftsman, as well as a capital team 
worker. He had curiosity, appreciation, a respect for facts. You 
could nt)t ruffle or antagonize him. He took the sudden calls to 
go here when he was going there, with equanimity; he enjoyed 


the unconventional intimacies of the crowd, the gaiety and ex- 
citement of belonging to what was more and more obviously a 
success. He was the least talkative of us aU, observant rather 
than garrulous, the best listener in the group, save Mr. Phillips. 
He had a joyous laugh which was more revealing of his healthy 
inner self than anything else about him. 

When I learned a few years later that Baker was the author 
of the wise, homely, whimsical "Adventures in Contentment," 
"The Friendly Road" and other delightful essays under the 
nom de plume of David Grayson I said at once, "How stupid 
of me not to have known it ! Haven't I always known that Baker 
is a David Grayson?" Few practical philosophers, indeed, have 
so lived their creed as Ray Stannard Baker, and none have had 
a more general recognition from the multitude of people in the 
country who, like him, believe in the fine -art of simple living. 
It is a comforting and beautiful thing to have had as a friend 
and co-worker over many years so rare a person as Ray Stan- 
nard Baker. 

By good fortune McClure's in this period happened on a 
reader of real genius Viola Roseboro the only "born reader" 
I have ever known. I found her in the office after one of my 
frequent jaunts after material. It was as a talker that I first 
learned to admire and love her. Her judgments were unfettered, 
her emotions strong and warm, her expressions free, glowing, 
stirring, and she loved to talk, though only when she felt sym- 
pathy and understanding. She loved to share books, of which 
she read many, particularly in the biographical field ; she wanted 
none but the best no imitation, no mere fact-finding. Her eager- 
ness to let no good thing slip, her consciousness of the all too 
little time a human being has in this world to explore its riches 
made her rigid in her choice. An unsleeping eagerness to find 
talent and give it a chance, and secondarily, she said, to enrich 
the magazine, made every day's work with the unsifted manu- 
scripts an adventure. If she found exceptional merit that was 


also suited to McClure's she might weep with excitement. And 
she stood to it till faith grew in those less sure of the untried. 
It was when McClure's was making a great hunt for a good 
serial that I saw her one morning bringing into the editorial 
sanctum Booth Tarkington's "The Gentleman from Indiana," 
tears celebrating the discovery as she cried, "Here is a serial 
sent by God Almighty for McClure's Magazine!" 

This woman of unusual intelligence, loyalty and of truly 
Spartan courage was a precious addition to the crowd. Ill health, 
threatened blindness, have never lowered her enthusiasm, her 
ceaseless effort to find the best, to give the best. She is still 
doing it. 

The most brilliant addition to the McClure's staff in my time 
was Lincoln Steffens. He had made himself felt in the journal- 
istic and political life of New York City by a fresh form of 
reportorial attack. Young, handsome, self-confident, with a good 
academic background and two years of foreign life and observa- 
tion, Steffens began his professional career unencumbered by 
journalistic shibboleths and with an immense curiosity as to 
what was going on about him. He was soon puzzled and fas- 
cinated by the relations of police and politicians, politicians and 
the law, law and city officials, city officials and business, busi- 
ness and church, education, society, the press. Apparently groups 
from each of these categories worked together, supporting one 
another, an organization close, compact, loyal from fear or self- 
interest or both. It was because of this organization, Steffens 
concluded, that graft and vice and crime were established in- 
dustries of the city. Attacks from outraged virtue had slowed 
up the system at intervals ever since the Civil War, but never 
permanently deranged it. A few rascals might be exterminated, 
but they were soon replaced. The system had bred new rascals, 
grown stronger and more cunning with time. He set out to 
trace its pattern. Incredibly outspoken, taking rascality for 
granted, apparently never shocked or angry or violent, never 


doubtful of himself, only coolly determined to demonstrate to 
men and women of good will and honest purpose what they were 
up against and warn them that the only way they could hope to 
grapple with a close corporation devoted to what there was in 
it was by an equally solid corporation devoted to decent and hon- 
est government, business, law, education, religion. First as a 
reporter and later as the city editor of the Globe, Steffens stirred 
the town. 

It was entirely in harmony with the McClure method of staff 
building that this able, fearless innocent should be marked for 
absorption. He was persuaded to take the editing of the maga- 
zine, now in its tenth year and steadily growing in popularity 
and influence. He was to be the great executive the editorial 
head that would shift some of the burden from the shoulders 
of Mr. McClure and Mr. Phillips. But the machine was running 
smoothly even if with little outward excitement. Steffens made 
a brave effort to adjust himself to the established order, to learn 
the situation. Naturally he took Mr. McClure's meteoric goings 
and comings, his passionate and often despairing efforts to make 
his staff "see" what he did, his cries that the magazine was 
stale, dying, more seriously than those of us who had been longer 
together. He seems to have been bewildered by what went on in 
the excited staff meetings held whenever Mr. McClure came 
in from a foraging expedition. I had come to look on Mr. Mc- 
Clure's returns as the most genuinely creative moments of our 
magazine life. He was an extraordinary reporter; his sense of 
the meaning, the meat of a man or event, his vivid imagination, 
his necessity of discharging on the group at once, before they 
were cold, his observations, intuitions, ideas, experiences, made 
the gatherings on his return amazingly stimulating to me. Sift- 
ing, examining, verifying, following up, were all necessary. Mr. 
McClure understood that and trusted John Phillips to see that 
it was done, but he properly fought for his findings. In his 
"Autobiography" Steffens credits me with a tact in our editorial 


scrimmages which I do not deserve- It Is true, as he says, that 
I was the friend of each and all, but what I was chiefly interested 
in was seeing the magazine grow in delight and in usefulness. 
I knew our excited discussions were really fertile. They also were 
highly entertaining. 

It was in this unsatisfied seeking by Mr. McClure for more and 
more of contemporary life that Lincoln Steffens 9 chief contri- 
bution to it and to the political life of his period had its root, 
Mr. McClure's fixed conviction that great editing was not to be 
done in the office he finally applied to Steffens, who was bravely 
struggling there to become the great editor he had been called 
to be. 

"You can't learn to edit a magazine in the office," Mr. McClure 
told him. "Get out, go anywhere, everywhere, see what is going 
on in the cities and states, find out who are the men and the 
movements we ought to be reporting." 

And so Stef went for a month, to the Middle West mainly, 
constantly reporting back to the office in McClure fashion what 
he was finding. He combed the universities and the newspaper 
offices; he looked up politicians; he searched for writers, any- 
thing and everywhere which might possibly be grist to the greedy 
mill in New York. 

One of the schemes on which he had been commissioned to 
check up was a series of articles on city and state governments. 
Almost at once he began to see larger and larger possibilities 
in the idea. There should be two series, he wrote the office, de- 
scriptions of the actual government of four or five typical cities 
and of as many states, humanized by studies of the men who 
ruled them or who were fighting the true rulers. A meeting 
with young district attorney Folk of St. Louis, then in the thick 
of a fight to reform his town, whetted his appetite. "If we take 
up the states," he wrote, "I would prefer to wait for William 
Allen White to write the articles. The cities will be more in my 


line. If I should be entrusted with, the work I think I could 
make my name. 55 

A few weeks later he was entrusted with the work. The result 
was "The Shame of the Cities 55 which, as he prophesied, made 
his name. 



As STEFPEisrs 5 case shows there was always much fingering of a 
subject at McClure's before one of the staff was told to go 
ahead. The original hint might come from Mr. McClure's over- 
flowing head and pocket, Mr. Phillips' notebooks, as much a 
part of him as his glasses, the daily mail, the chance word of a 
caller. We all turned in our pickings. They must concern the 
life of the day, that which was interesting people. An idea, once 
launched, grew until fixed on somebody; and, once started, it 
continued to grow according to the response of readers. No re- 
sponse no more chapters. A healthy response as many chap- 
ters as the material justified. 

It was by this process that my next long piece of work came 
into being: "The History of the Standard Oil Company." 

The deluge of monopolistic trusts which had followed the 
close of the Spanish-American War and the "return of pros- 
perity" was disturbing and confusing people. It was contrary 
to their philosophy, their belief that, given free opportunity, free 
competition, there would always be brains and energy enough 
to prevent even the ablest leader monopolizing an industry. What 
was interfering with the free play of the forces in which they 
trusted? They had been depending on the Federal Antitrust Law 
passed ten years before. Was it quite useless? It looked that way. 

There was much talk in the office about it, and there came to 
the top finally the idea of using the story of a typical trust to 
illustrate how and why the clan grew. How about the greatest 
of them all the Standard Oil Company? 

I suppose I must have talked rather freely about my own rec- 



ollections and impressions of its development. It had been a 
strong thread weaving itself into the pattern of my life from 
childhood on. 

1 had come into the world just before the discovery of oil, 
the land on which I was born not being over thirty miles away 
from that first well. The discovery had shaped my father's life, 
rescuing him as it did thousands of others from the long depres- 
sion which had devastated the eighteen-fifties. I had grown up 
with oil derricks, oil tanks, pipe lines, refineries, oil exchanges. 
I remembered what had happened in the Oil Region in 1872 when 
the railroads and an outside group of refiners attempted to seize 
what many men had created. It was my first experience in revo- 
lution. On the instant the word became holy to me. It was your 
privilege and duty to fight injustice. I was much elated when, 
not so long afterwards, I fell on Rousseau's "Social Contract' 3 
and read his defense of the right to revolt. 

I had been only dimly conscious of what had happened in the 
decade following the decade in which the Standard Oil Com- 
pany had completed its monopoly. It was the effect on the people 
about me that stirred me, the hate and suspicion and fear that 
engulfed the community. I had been so deeply stirred by this 
human tragedy, as I have told, that I had made a feeble and 
ineffectual attempt to catch it, fix it in a novel. 

The drama continued to unfold while I was abroad, came into 
our very household when a partner of my father's ruined by 
the complex situation shot himself, leaving father with notes. To 
pay them it was necessary in the panic of '93 to do what in his 
modest economy was unsound and humiliating mortgage our 
home. While the personal tragedies came in my mother's letters, 
my brother wrote me vivid accounts of what was going on in 
the outside oil world, of the slow action of the Interstate Com- 
merce Commission from which all independents had hoped so 
much, of businesses ruined while they waited for the decision; 
of the Ohio suit which drove the trust to reorganization, a legal 


victory which, in no way weakened its hold or crippled its growth. 
Depressing as this was, I was elated by my brother's reports 
of the growing strength of a strongly integrated cooperative 
effort of producers, refiners, transporters, marketers, the Pure 
Oil Company. The only escape possible for those who would do 
independent business, he argued ably, was to build their own 
combination depending less on agitation, politics, legislation, 
more on sound business. Fight if necessary, but above all do 

While I was still in Paris this clutter of recollections, impres- 
sions, indignations, perplexities, was crystallized into something 
like a pattern by Henry D. Lloyd's brilliant "Wealth Against 
Commonwealth." I had been hearing about the book from home, 
but the first copy was brought me by my English friend H. Wick- 
ham Steed, who, fresh from two years' contact with German 
socialism, took the work with great seriousness. Was not this a 
conclusive proof that capitalism was necessarily inconsistent with 
fair and just economic life? Was not socialism the only way out, 
as Lloyd thought? 

I was more simple-minded about it. As I saw it, it was not 
capitalism but an open disregard of decent ethical business prac- 
tices by capitalists which lay at the bottom of the story Mr. 
Lloyd told so dramatically. 

The reading and discussions whetted my appetite; and when 
I came back to America in 1894, and heard anew in the family 
circle of what had been going on, my old desire to get the drama 
down seized me. Where were those notes I had made back in my 
CJiautauquan days? Gathering dust in the tower room. I looked 
them up, saw that I had done well in choosing Pithole for my 
opening scene. Nothing so dramatic as Pithole in oil history. 
How many men it had made and ruined ! But "the bottom had 
dropped out" in 1866. What was left of it now 1894? My 
brother and I drove over to see. 

Thirty years before, Pithole had been a city of perhaps twenty 


thousand men and women with all the equipment for a perma- 
nent life. Now here were only stripped fields where no outline 
of a town remained. We spent a long day trying to place the 
famous wells, to fix my father's tank shops, so profitable while 
Pithole lasted, to trace the foundations of the Bonta House, 
which had furnished the makings of our home in Titusville. The 
day left us with a melancholy sense of the impermanence of 
human undertakings ; and, more to the point, it showed me that 
if I were to reconstruct the town with its activities and its people, 
picture its rise and its fall, I must go back to records, maps, remi- 
niscences; that I must undertake a long and serious piece of 
investigation before I began. But, given the material, how about 
my ability to make it live, to create the drama which I felt? One 
must be an artist before he can create that I knew. I was no 

Mr. McClure's call to come on and write a life of Napoleon put 
an end to my hesitations; and, Napoleon done, there had been 
Lincoln and the Spanish- American War no time to consider oil 
or even to rejoice over the final success of the integrated industry 
to which my brother had tied his fortune. 

But here I was again faced with the old interest. The desire 
to do something about it, get down what I had seen, seized me. 
Was it possible to treat the story historically, to make a docu- 
mented narrative? The more I talked, the more convinced I was 
that it could be done. But to tell the story so that people would 
read it was another matter. Mr. Phillips finally put it up to me 
to make an outline of what I thought possible. We couldn't go 
ahead without Mr. McClure's approval, and he was ill, in Europe 
with all his family. 

"Go over," said John Phillips ; "show the outline to Sam, get 
his decision." And so in the fall of 1890 I went to Lausanne in 
Switzerland to talk it over with Mr. McClure. A week would 
do it, I thought ; but I hadn't reckoned with the McClure method. 

"Don't worry about it," said he. "I want to think it over. Mrs. 


McClure and you and I will go to Greece for the winter. You've 
never been there. We can discuss Standard Oil in Greece as well 
as here. If it seems a good plan you can send for your docu- 
ments and work in the Pantheon." And he chuckled at the picture. 

Almost before I realized it we were headed for Greece via the 
Italian Lakes, Milan and Venice. In Milan Mr. McClure sud- 
denly decided that he and Mrs. McClure needed a cure before 
Greece and headed for the ancient watering place of Salso- 
maggiore. Here, in the interval of mud baths and steam soaks 
and watching such magnificent humans as Cecil Rhodes and his 
retinue recuperating from their latest South African adventure, 
we finally came to a decision. I was to go back to New York and 
see what I could make of the outline I had been expounding. 
Greece was to be abandoned. 

Leaving Mr. and Mrs. McClure to finish their cure, I headed 
for New York to write what> as far as title was concerned, cer- 
tainly looked like a doubtful enterprise for a magazine like 
McClure* $: "The History of the Standard Oil Company." 

"McClure's has courage." How often that remark was made 
after our undertaking was under way! But courage implies a 
suspicion of danger. Nobody thought of such a thing in our 
office. We were undertaking what we regarded as a legitimate 
piece of historical work. We were neither apologists nor critics, 
only journalists intent on discovering what had gone into the 
making of this most perfect of all monopolies. What had we to 
be afraid of? 

I soon discovered, however, that, if we were not afraid, I must 
work in a field where numbers of men and women were afraid, 
believed in the all-seeing eye and the all-powerful reach of the 
ruler of the oil industry. They believed that anybody going ahead 
openly with a project in any way objectionable to the Standard 
Oil Company would meet with direct or indirect attack. Exam- 
ination of their methods had always been objectionable to them. 
"Go ahead, and they will get you in the end, 55 I was told by 


more than one who had come to that conclusion either from 
long observation or from long suffering. 

Even my father said, "Don't do it, Ida they will ruin the 

It was a persistent fog of suspicion and doubt and fear. From 
the start this fog hampered what was my first business, making 
sure of the documents in the case. I knew they existed. Almost 
continuously since its organization in 1870 the Standard Oil 
Company had been under investigation by the Congress of the 
United States and by the legislatures of various states in which 
it had operated, on the suspicion that it was receiving rebates 
from the railroads and was practicing methods in restraint of 
free trade. In 1872 and again in 1876 it was before Congres- 
sional committees; in 1879 it was before examiners of the Com- 
monwealth of Pennsylvania and before committees appointed by 
the legislatures of New York and of Ohio for investigating rail- 
roads. Its operations figured constantly in the debate which led 
up to the creation of the Interstate Commerce Commission in 
1887; and again and again since that time the Commission had 
been called upon to examine directly or indirectly into its rela- 
tions with the railroads. 

In 1888, in the Investigation of Trusts conducted by Congress 
and by the State of New York, the Standard Oil Company was 
the chief subject for examination. In the state of Ohio, between 
1882 and 1892, a constant warfare was waged against the Stand- 
ard in the courts and the legislature, resulting in several volumes 
of testimony. The legislatures of many other states concerned 
themselves with it. This hostile legislation compelled the trust 
to separate into its component parts in 1892, but investigation 
did not cease ; indeed, in the great industrial inquiry conducted 
by the Commission appointed by President McKinley, the Stand- 
ard Oil Company was constantly under discussion, and hundreds 
of pages of testimony on it appear in the nineteen volumes of 
reports which the Commission submitted. 


This mass of testimony most, if not all, of it taken under 
oath contained the different charters and agreements under 
which the Standard Oil Trust had operated, many contracts and 
agreements with railroads, with refineries, with pipe lines; and 
it contained the experiences in business from 1872 up to 1900 
of multitudes of individuals. These experiences had exactly the 
quality of the personal reminiscences of actors in great events, 
with the additional value that they were given on the witness 
stand ; and it was fair,, therefore, to suppose that they were more 
cautious and exact in statement than are many writers of 
memoirs. These investigations, covering as they did all of the 
important steps in the development of the trust, included full 
accounts of the point of view of its officers in regard to that 
development, as well as their explanations of many of the opera- 
tions over which controversy had arisen. 

Aside from the great mass of sworn testimony accessible to 
the student, there was a large pamphlet literature dealing with 
different phases of the subject, as well as files of the numerous 
daily newspapers and monthly reviews, supported by the Oil 
Region, in the columns of which were to be found, not only statis- 
tics, but full reports of all controversies between oil men. 

But the documentary sources were by no means all in print. 
The Standard Oil Trust and its constituent companies had fig- 
ured in many civil suits, the testimony of which was in manu- 
script in the files of the courts where the suits were tried. 

I had supposed it would be easy to locate the records of the 
important investigations and cases, but I soon found I had been 
too trustful. For instance, there was a Federal investigation of 
the South Improvement Company, the first attempt to make a 
hard and fast alliance between oil-bearing railroads and oil 
refiners, an alliance which inevitably would kill everybody not 
admitted, since by the contract the railroads not only allowed the 
privileged refiners a rebate on all their shipments, but paid 
them a drawback on those of independents. The railroads also 


agreed to give them full information about the quantity and the 
destination of their rivals 5 shipments. The Standard Oil Com- 
pany as a monopoly had grown out of this pretty scheme. 

Where could I get a copy of that investigation? More than 
one cynic said, "You'll never find one they have all been de- 
stroyed." When I had located copies in each of two private col- 
lections I was refused permission to put my hands on them. 

To be sure, I did by persistent searching find that so-guarded 
investigation in a pamphlet which is one of the three which are 
all I know to be in existence. I am not supposing that there are 
not others, for I quickly learned, when I was told that the entire 
edition of a printed document had been destroyed, to go on 
looking. Once a document is in print, somewhere, some time, a 
copy turns up, however small the edition. For instance, there 
was the important Hepburn investigation of the relations of 
railroads and private industries made by the State of New York 
in 1879. I could not find a copy in the Oil Region where I was 
working. The Standard had destroyed them all, I was told. At 
that time there was in the Public Library of New York City 
one of the ablest of American bibliographers Adelaide Hasse. 
She had helped me more than once to find a scarce document. 

"How about this Hepburn investigation?" I wrote Miss Hasse. 

"Here in the Library for your use whenever you will come 
around." But she added: "Only one hundred copies were ever 
published. It is a scarce piece. I have known of a complete set 
selling for $100.00. It was understood at the time," she ex- 
plained, "that one or two important railroad presidents whose 
testimony was given before the committee bought up and de- 
stroyed as many sets as they could obtain." 

In the end all the printed documents were located. But there 
was the unprinted testimony taken in lawsuits. Had incrim- 
inating testimony been spirited away from the court files? Henry 
Lloyd made such an accusation in his first edition of "Wealth 
Against Commonwealth." It disappeared from a second edition. 


I wrote to ask Mm, "Why? 55 "The testimony was put back after 
my book first appeared," he answered. I was particularly anxious 
to have the original of one of these documents, but when I came 
to look for it, it was not in the files. Where was it? How was I to 
locate it? And if I did succeed would there be any chance to 
judge from past experience that it would be turned over to me? 
I saw that I must have an assistant, someone preferably in 
Cleveland, Ohio, so many years the headquarters of the Stand- 
ard's operations. It meant more expense, and I was already cost- 
ing the office an amount which shocked my thrifty practice. But 
Mr. McClure and Mr. Phillips, being generous and patient and 
also by this time fairly confident that in the end we should get 
something worth while, told me to go ahead. 

I had learned in my Lincoln work that an assistant, even if 
faithful and hard-working, may be an incumbrance when it 
comes to investigation. It needs more than accuracy; it needs 
enthusiasm for finding out things, solving puzzles anybody's 
puzzles. I wanted a young man with college training, a year or 
two of experience as a reporter, intelligent, energetic, curious, 
convinced everything he was asked to do was important, even if 
he did not at the moment know why. He must get his fun in the 
chase you in the bag. Also he must be trusted to keep his 
mouth shut. 

I can recommend the technique I practiced in this case for 
finding^ my rare bird. From each of three different editors in 
Cleveland I asked' the frame of a young man whom he thought 
competent to run down a not very important-looking bit of in- 
formation. To each of the names given me I wrote instructions 
from New York. I would be around soon to pick up the report, 
I told them, adding that I should prefer that he say nothing 
about the assignment. 

When I went to Cleveland to view my prospects I found both 
number one and number two fine intelligent fellows. Their re- 
ports were excellent, but they had not the least interest in what 


they had done. I thanked them, paid them, and said, "Good day," 
The third young man came, short and plump, his eyes glowing 
with excitement. He sat on the edge of his chair. As I watched 
him I had a sudden feeling of alarm lest he should burst out of 
his clothes. I never had the same feeling about any other indi- 
vidual except Theodore Roosevelt. I once watched the first Roose- 
velt through a White House musicale when I felt his clothes 
might not contain him, he was so steamed up, so ready to go, 
attack anything, anywhere. 

The young man gave me his report; but what counted was 
the way he had gone after his material, his curiosity, his con- 
viction that it was important since I wanted it. I thought I had 
my man. A few more trials convinced me John M. Siddall was 
a find. He at that time was an associate of Frank Bray in the 
editing of The Chautauquan 9 the headquarters of which had been 
shifted to Cleveland from Meadville. 

When Siddall once understood what I was up to he jumped 
at the chance went to work with a will and stayed working with 
a will until the task was ended. He was a continuous joy as well 
as a support in my undertaking. Nothing better in the way of 
letter writing came to the McClure's office. In time everybody 
was reading Siddall's letters to me, whether it was a mere matter 
of statistics or a matter of the daily life in Cleveland of John 
D. Rockefeller, the head of the Standard Oil Company. If any- 
thing in or around Ohio interested the magazine the office imme- 
diately suggested, "Ask Sid. 5 ' And Sid always found the answer. 
Mr. McClure and Mr. Phillips began to say, "We want Sid as 
soon as you are through with him." Sid saw the opportunity, 
and as soon as I could spare him in Ohio he joined the McClure's 

I had been at work a year gathering and sifting materials 
before the series was announced. Very soon after that, Mr. Mc- 
Clure dashed into the office one day to tell me he had just been 
talking with Mark Twain, who said his friend Henry Rogers, 


at that time the most conspicuous man in the Standard Oil 
group, had asked him to find out what kind of history of the 
concern McClure 9 s proposed to publish. 

"You will have to ask Miss Tarbell," Mr. McClure told him. 

"Would Miss Tarbell see Mr. Rogers?" Mark Twain asked. 

Mr. McClure was sure I would not ask anything better, which 
was quite true. And so an interview was arranged for one day 
early in January of 1902 at Mr. Rogers 5 home, then at 26 East 
Fifty-seventh Street. I was a bit scared at the idea. I had met 
many kinds of people, but this was my first high-ranking captain 
of industry. Was I putting my head into a lion's mouth? I did 
not think so. It had become more and more evident to me that 
any attempt to bite our heads off would be the stupidest thing 
the Standard Oil Company could do, its reputation being what 
it was. It was not that stupid, I told myself. However, it was one 
thing to tackle the Standard Oil Company in documents, as I 
had been doing, quite another thing to meet it face to face. And 
then would Mr. Rogers "come across"? Could I talk with him? 
So far my attempts to talk with members of the organization 
had been failures. I had been met with that formulated chatter 
used by those who have accepted a creed, a situation, a system, 
to baffle the investigator trying to find out what it all means. 

My nervousness and my skepticism fell away when Mr. Rogers 
stepped forward in his library to greet me. He was frank and 
hearty. Plainly he wanted me to be at ease. In that way he knew 
that he could soon tell whether it was worth his while to spend 
further time on me or not. 

Henry Rogers was a man of about sixty at this time, a striking 
figure, by all odds the handsomest and most distinguished figure 
in Wall Street. He was tall, muscular, lithe as an Indian. There 
was a trace of the early oil adventure in his bearing in spite 
of his air of authority, his excellent grooming, his manner of 
the quick-witted naturally adaptable man who has seen much 
of people. His big head with its high forehead was set off by a 


heavy shock of beautiful gray hair ; his nose was aquiline, sensi- 
tive. The mouth, which I fancy must have been flexible, capable 
both of firm decision and of gay laughter, was concealed by a 
white drooping moustache. His eyes were large and dark, nar- 
rowed a little by caution, capable of blazing as I was to find 
out, shaded by heavy gray eyebrows giving distinction and 
force to his face. 

I remember thinking as I tried to get my bearings: Now I 
understand why Mark Twain likes him so much. They are alike 
even in appearance. They have the bond of early similar expe- 
riences Mark Twain in Nevada, Henry Rogers in the early 
oil regions. 

"When and where did your interest in oil begin?" Mr. Rogers 
asked as he seated me a full light on my face, I noticed. 

"On the flats and hills of Rouseville," I told him. 

"Of course," he cried, "of course! TarbelPs Tank Shops. I 
knew your father. I could put my finger on the spot where those 
shops stood." 

We were off. We forgot our serious business and talked of 
our early days on the Creek. Mr. Rogers told me how the news 
of the oil excitement had drawn him from his boyhood home in 
New England, how he had found his way into Rouseville, gone 
into refining. He had married and put his first thousand dollars 
into a home on the hillside adjoining ours. 

"It was a little white house," he said, "with a high peaked 

"Oh, I remember it!" I cried. "The prettiest house in the 
world, I thought it." It was my first approach to the Gothic arch, 
my first recognition of beauty in a building. 

We reconstructed the geography of our neighborhood, linger- 
ing over the charm of the narrow ravine which separated our 
hillsides, a path on each side. 

"Up that path," Mr. Rogers told me, "I used to carry our 
washing every Monday morning and go for it every Saturday 

night. Probably I've seen yon hunting flowers on your side of 
the ravine. How beautiful it was ! I was never happier. 55 

Could two strangers, each a little wary of the other, have had 
a more auspicious beginning for a serious talk? For what fol- 
lowed was serious with moments of strain. 

"What are you basing your story on? 55 he asked finally. 

"On documents. I am beginning with the South Improvement 
Company. 55 

He broke in to say : "Well, that of course was an outrageous 
business. That is where the Rockefellers made their big mistake. 55 

I knew of course that Mr. Rogers had fought that early raid 
tooth and nail; and I also knew that later he had joined "the 
conspirators, 55 as the Oil Region called them, in carrying out 
point by point the initial program. But I did not throw it up 
to him. 

"Why did you not come to us at the start? 55 Mr. Rogers 

"It was unnecessary. You have written your history ; besides, 
it would have been quite useless, 55 I told him. 

"We 5 ve changed our policy, 53 he said. "We are giving out 
information. 55 As a matter of fact Mr. Rogers may be regarded, 
I think, as the first public relations counsel of the Standard Oil 
Company the forerunner of Ivy Lee and I was, so far as I 
know, the first subject on which the new policy was tried. 

In the close to two hours I spent that afternoon with Henry 
Rogers we went over the history of the oil business. We talked 
of rebates and pipe lines, independent struggles and failures, the 
absorption of everything that touched their ambition. He put 
their side to me, the mightiness of their achievement, the per- 
fection of their service. Also he talked of their trials, the per- 
secution (as he called it) by their rivals, the attack of Lloyd: "I 
never understood how Harper could have published that book. 
Why, I knew Harry Harper socially. 

"There has always been something, 55 he said a little ruefully. 


"Look at things now Russia and Texas. There seems to be no 
end of the oil they have there. How can we control it? It looks 
as if something had the Standard Oil Company by the neck, 
something bigger than we are." 

The more we talked, the more at home I felt with him and 
the more I liked him. It was almost like talking with Mr. McClure 
and Mr. Phillips. 

Finally we made a compact. I was to take up with him each 
case in their history as I came to it. He was to give me docu- 
ments, figures, explanations, and justifications anything and 
everything which would enlarge my understanding and judg- 
ment. I realized how big a contribution he would make if he 
continued to be as frank as he was in this preliminary talk. I 
made it quite clear to him, however, that while I should welcome 
anything in the way of information and explanation that he 
could give, it must be my judgment, not his, which prevailed. 

"Of course, Mr. Rogers," I told him, "I realize that my judg- 
ments may not stand in the long run ; but I shall have to stand 
or fall by them." 

"Well," he said as I rose to go, "I suppose we'll have to stand 
it. Would you be willing to come to my office for these talks? 
It might be a little more convenient." 

"Certainly," I replied. 

He looked a bit surprised. 

"Will you talk with Mr. Rockefeller?" 

"Certainly," I said. 

"Well," he said a little doubtfully, "Pll try to arrange it. 95 

For two years our bargain was faithfully kept, I usually going 
to his office at 26 Broadway. That in itself at the start, for 
one as unfamiliar as I was with the scene and customs of big 
business, was an adventure. My entrance and exit to Mr. Rogers' 
office were carried on with a secrecy which never failed to amuse 
me. The alert, handsome, businesslike little chaps who received 
me at the entrance to the Rogers' suite piloted me unerringly 


by a route where nobody saw me and I saw nobody into the 
same small room opening on to a court, and it seemed never the 
same route. I was not slow in discovering that across the court 
in the window directly opposite there was always stationed a 
gentleman whose head seemed to be turned my way whenever I 
looked across. It may have meant nothing at all. I only record 
the fact. 

The only person besides Mr. Rogers I ever met in those offices 
was his private secretary, Miss Harrison: a woman spoken of 
with awe at that date as having a $10,000 salary, one who knew 
her employer's business from A to Z and whom he could trust 
absolutely. She radiated efficiency business competency. Along 
with her competency went that gleam of hardness which efficient 
business women rarely escape. Miss Harrison appeared only on 
rare occasions when an extra document was needed. She was as 
impersonal as the chairs in the room. 

We discussed in these interviews, with entire frankness, the 
laws which they had flouted. I could not shock Mr. Rogers with 
records not even when I confronted him one day with the testi- 
mony he had given on a certain point which he admitted was 
not according to the facts. He curtly dismissed the subject. 
"They had no business prying into my private affairs." As for 
rebates, "Somebody would have taken them if we had not. 55 

"But with your strength, Mr. Rogers," I argued, "you could 
have forced fair play on the railroads and on your competitors." 

"Ah," he said, "but there was always somebody without scru- 
ples in competition, however small that somebody might be. 
He might grow." 

There it was, the obsession of the Standard Oil Company, that 
danger lurked in small as well as great things, that nothing, how- 
ever trivial, must live outside of its control. 

These talks made me understand as I could not from the 
documents themselves the personal point of view of independents 
like Mr. Rogers who had been gathered into the organization 


in the first decade of monopoly making. For instance, there was 
Mr. Rogers 5 reason for desiring the trust agreement made in 

"By 1880," said Mr. Rogers, "I had stock in nearly all of 
the seventy or so companies which we had absorbed. But the 
real status of these companies was not known to the public. In 
case of my death there would have been practically no buyer 
except Mr. Flagler, Mr. Rockefeller, and a few others on the 
inside. My heirs would not have reaped the benefit of my hold- 
ings. The trust agreement changed this. The public at once real- 
ized the value of the trust certificate. That is, my estate was 
guarded in case of my death." 

He often emphasized the part economies had played not only 
in building up the concern but in their individual fortunes 
economies and putting their money back into the business. "We 
lived in rented houses and saved money to buy stock in the com- 
pany," he told me once. 

Only one who remembers, as I do, the important place that 
owning your own home took in the personal economy of the 
self-respecting individual of that day can feel the force of this 

I was curious about how he had been able to adjust his well 
known passion for speculation with Mr. Rockefeller's well known 
antagonism to all forms of gambling. 

"Didn't he ever object?" I asked. 

"Oh," he said a little ruefully, "I was never a favorite. I 
suppose I was a born gambler. In the early days of the Charles 
Pratt Company, the company of which I was a member I always 
carried on the speculations for the concern Mr. Pratt said: 
'Henry, I haven't got the nerve to speculate. I kicked all the 
clothes off last night worrying about the market.' 'Give me the 
money, 5 I told him, c and I will furnish the nerve. 5 We simply 
raked in the money" making a gesture with both hands. "And 
of course it came out of the producer. 5 ' 


"That is what my father always said, 95 I told him. "One of 
the severest lectures he ever gave came from one of those booms 
in the market which sent everybody in the Oil Region crazy. I 
suppose you were responsible for it. I remember a day when the 
schools were practically closed because all the teachers in Titus- 
ville were on the street or in the Oil Exchange everybody specu- 
lating. I was in high school; the fever caught me, and I asked 
father for $100 to try my luck in the market. He was as angry 
with me as I ever saw him. 'No daughter of mine, 3 he said, etc., 

"Wise man," Mr. Rogers commented. 

"But it was not because he was so cautious," I said. "It was 
because he thought it was morally wrong. He would no more 
have speculated in the stock market than he would have played 
poker for money." 

"I always play poker when the market is closed," commented 
Mr. Rogers. "I can't help it. Saturday afternoons I almost always 
make up a poker party, and every now and then John Gates 
and I rig up something. He'll come around and say, c Henry, 
isn't it about time we started something?' We usually do." 

All of these talks were informal, natural. We even argued 
with entire friendliness the debatable question, "What is the 
worst thing the Standard Oil Company ever did?" Only now 
and then did one of us flare, and then the other generally changed 
the subject. 

"He's a liar and hypocrite, and you know it," I exploded 
one day when we were talking of a man who had led in what 
to me was a particularly odious operation. 

"I think it is going to rain," said Mr. Rogers, looking out 
of the window with ostentatious detachment. 

Mr. Rogers not only produced documents and arguments ; he 
produced people with whom I wanted to talk. The most impor- 
tant was Henry Flagler, who had been in on the South Improve- 
ment Company, that early deal with the railroads which had 


started the Standard Oil Company off on the road to monopoly. 
There had always been a controversy as to who had suggested 
that fine scheme. Mr. Flagler was in it. What did he know? Mr. 
Rogers arranged that I talk with him. 

Henry Flagler was not an acceptable figure even to Wall 
Street in those days. There were scandals of his private life 
which, true or not, his fellow financiers did not like. Bad for 
business. I found him a very different type from Henry Rogers. 
He, for instance, did not conceal his distrust of John Rocke- 
feller. "He would do me out of a dollar today, 55 he cried, off 
his guard, and with an excited smash of his fist on the table; 
and then, catching himself and with a remarkable change of 
tone: "That is, if he could do it honestly, Miss Tarbell, if he 
could do it honestly. 55 

Mr. Flagler knew what I had come for, but instead of answer- 
ing my direct questions he began to tell me with some show of 
emotion of his own early life, how he had left home because his 
father was a poor clergyman $400 a year, a large family of 
children. He had not succeeded until he went into the commis- 
sion business with Mr. Rockefeller in Cleveland. "And from that 
time we were prospered, 55 he said piously. In the long story he 
told me, the phrase, "We were prospered, 55 came in again and 
again. That was not what I was after. Their prosperity was 
obvious enough. Finally I returned with some irritation to the 
object of my visit. 

"I see you do not know or are unwilling to say, Mr. Flagler, 
who originated the South Improvement Company; but this is 
certain : Mr. Rockefeller had the credit of it in the Oil Region. 
You know, yourself, how bitter the feeling was there. 55 

"But, ah, Miss Tarbell, 55 he said, "how often the reputation 
of a man in his lifetime differs from his real character! Take 
the greatest character in our history. How different was our 
Lord and Saviour regarded when he was alive from what we 
now know him to have been ! 55 


After that, further questioning was of course hopeless, and 
until Mr. Rogers returned I sat listening to the story of how the 
Lord had prospered him. I never was happier to leave a room, 
but I was no happier than Mr. Flagler was to have me go. 

Mr. Rogers produced Mr. Flagler and others of lesser impor- 
tance. But although I referred to his semi-promise in our first 
interview to produce Mr. Rockefeller I found that after a few 
months there was no hope of this. If I hinted at it he parried. 

Nearly a year went by after my first interview with Mr. 
Rogers before the articles began to appear. I rather expected 
him to cut me off when he realized that I was trying to prove 
that the Standard Oil Company was only an enlarged South 
Improvement Company. But to my surprise my arguments did 
not seem to disturb him. They had won out, had they not? He 
sometimes complained that I had been unnecessarily blunt or 
a bit vindictive, but he continued to receive me in friendly fashion 
and to give me, perhaps not all the help he might, but always 
something to make me think twice, frequently to modify a view. 

But if he was not himself disturbed by what I was doing why 
did he continue the interviews? Gradually I became convinced 
it was because of his interest in my presentation of a particular 
episode in their history. It was a case in which Mr. Rogers and 
John Archbold, along with all of the members of the board of 
a subsidiary company, the Vacuum Oil Company of Rochester, 
New York, had been indicted for conspiring to destroy an inde- 
pendent refinery in Buffalo, New York. 

In my opening interview with Mr. Rogers he with some show 
of feeling had told me he wanted me to get a correct and impar- 
tial version of this Buffalo case, as he always called it. There 
had been a break in his voice when with hesitation he said: "That 
case is a sore point with Mr. Archbold and me. I want you to 
go into it thoroughly. I have the reports of the testimony before 
the grand jury; it took me months to secure them. Of course 
in a sense I have no right with them. I told my children that if 


their father's memory is ever attacked this will serve to vin- 
dicate him. He must stand or fall in their estimation by that 

At our second interview he produced the testimony before the 
grand jury, repeating again that of course he had no business 
with it but he had to have it. He would not allow me to take it 
away, and at his request I read the sixty or more pages in his 
presence. It seemed quite clear to me, as I told Mr. Rogers on 
finishing the reading, that his connection with the affair had 
been so indirect that there was no reason for his indictment, 
although it seemed equally clear to me that there was ample 
reason for the indictment of certain members of the Vacuum 
board. The judge was of that opinion, for he dismissed the in- 
dictment against Mr. Rogers and two of his fellow directors while 
sustaining that against the responsible operating heads of the 

I soon discovered that what Mr. Rogers wanted me to make 
out was that the three men who had founded the independent 
enterprise, all of them former employees of the Vacuum Oil 
Company, had done so for the sole purpose of forcing the Stand- 
ard to buy them out at a high price ; that is, that it was a case 
of planned blackmail. But the testimony certainly showed little 
evidence of that while it did show clearly enough that the man- 
agers of the Vacuum Oil Company, from the hour they had 
learned of the undertaking, had made deliberate and open at- 
tempts to prevent the Buffalo refinery doing business. 

The more thoroughly I went into the matter and I worked 
hard over it the more convinced I was that, while there had 
been bad faith and various questionable practices on the part 
of members of the independent firm, they had started out to 
build up a business of their own. Also it was clear they had had 
hardly a shadow of success under the grilling opposition of the 
Standard concern. This included various suits for infringement 
of patents, all of which the Standard had lost. In course of the 


years of litigation four juries two grand juries and two petit 
juries gave verdicts against the Standard Oil Company. 

Finally the independent concern was so shot to pieces by the 
continuous bombardment that it had to be put into the hands 
of a receiver. The Standard offered to settle for $85,000, and 
the judge ordered the acceptance. This made it the owner of the 
bone of contention. 

I had a feeling that my final conclusion in the matter would 
probably end my relations with Mr. Rogers. I did not want to 
spring that conclusion on him, that is, I wanted him to know 
ahead of publication where I had come out. Although I had 
never allowed him to read an article before its appearance, that 
being part of the original compact, I broke my rule in this case. 
Promptly I received a letter asking me to call at 26 Broadway. 
He received me in his usual cordial way and told me he had 
gone over my article carefully, compared it with certain papers 
in his possession and had written me a letter in which he had 
stated his criticisms. 

Handing me the letter, he said, "I think it will be a good plan 
for you to read that out loud, so that we can talk it over here." 

I began to read, but broke off with the first sentence. Mr. 
Rogers had written that he appreciated my request that he 
should make the story correspond with his knowledge and opin- 
ion of the case. 

"Mr. Rogers, 55 I said, "if you will look at my letter you will 
see that I did not suggest that you make the article correspond 
with your opinion of this case. I am convinced that I cannot 
do that. I asked you to examine the article and see if I had made 
any errors in statement or had omitted any essential testimony 
on either side. 55 

He smiled. "Never mind, go ahead, 55 he said. 

The letter was admirable, almost every point well taken. There 
was nothing which it was not proper for me to consider at least, 


and with certain of Ms points I said at once that I was willing 
to comply. The discussion of the letter finished, I inwardly 
breathed a sigh of satisfaction. We were going to part on friendly 
terms with neither of us having yielded our convictions. 

But I had not counted on the resources of Henry Rogers in 
a matter in which he was deeply concerned, particularly one 
which touched his personal pride and aroused his fighting spirit. 
For as I was about to go he sprang on me an entirely new inter- 
pretation of the case. Not only, was the suit of the independent 
refinery in which he had been indicted a continuation of the 
original blackmailing scheme, but the lawyers in the case had 
themselves been in the conspiracy. He laid before me a number 
of documents which he claimed proved it. The chief of these was 
the itemized report of the receiver. This report, he said, showed 
that the lawyers had taken the case knowing that if the Buffalo 
concern did not win there would be no fees, and showed that 
when the matter had finally been settled they had made what the 
receiver considered exorbitant claims for their services. There 
were five of them, and they finally were allowed some thirty 
thousand dollars. 

"You can see, 35 Mr. Rogers said as he pointed out these facts, 
"why they were so eager to convict us. They were making a raid 
on the Standard, and the bench was with them." 

His charge that the bench was with them, he based on the fact 
that two of the lawyers originally in the case had later been ele- 
vated to the bench. They had not of course heard the case, but 
they had put their information and conclusions at the disposal 
of their successors. 

I was startled by this sudden and sinister accusation and sat 
for some time with my head bent over the papers, forgetting his 
presence, trying to get at the meaning of the documents. Was 
there any other explanation than that which Mr. Rogers had 
given me with such conviction? Looking up suddenly for the 


first time in my experience with Mr. Rogers, I caught him look- 
ing at me with narrowed and cunning eyes. I took alarm on the 

"We are not the only ones, you see, Miss Tarbell." 

"If this means what it seems to mean you are not. But I shall 
have to study these documents, Mr. Rogers ; I shall have to con- 
sult a lawyer about the practice common in such cases." 

"That will be all right,' 5 he said. 

He was more exultant than I had ever found him. "I knew that 
paper would come in well some day. To get it I consented to our 
people buying the Buffalo refinery we did not want it, but I 
wanted to get the receiver's reports and know just what had 
been done with the money we had paid them." 

On the whole I had never seen him better pleased with him- 
self than he was at that moment. His satisfaction was so great 
that for the first time in our acquaintance he gave me a little 
lecture for a caustic remark I had made. "That is not a Chris- 
tian remark," he said. I contended that it was a perfect expres- 
sion of my notion of a Christian. 

"You ought to go to church more frequently," he said. "Why 
don't you come and hear my pastor, Dr. Savage?" 

We parted on good terms after a discussion of our religious 
views and churchgoing practices, and he gave me a cordial invi- 
tation to come back, which I agreed to do as soon as I had studied 
the new angle in the Buffalo case. 

Aided by a disinterested and fair-minded lawyer, I gave a 
thorough study to the documents; but do my best I could not 
convince myself that Mr. Rogers' contention was sound. It is 
not an unusual thing for lawyers to take cases they believe in, 
knowing that their compensation depends on their winning. 
Many clients with just cases would be deprived of counsel if 
they had to insure a fixed compensation, for not infrequently, 
as in the Buffalo case, all that a client has is involved in a suit. 
The practice is so common among reputable lawyers that it cer- 


tainly cannot be regarded as a proof of a conspiracy, unless 
there is a reason to suppose that they have taken a case of whose 
merits they themselves are suspicious. There was no evidence 
that the counsel of the independent concern were not convinced 
from the first that they had a strong case. Their claims were 
large; but lawyers are not proverbial for the modesty of their 
charges and, besides, exorbitant charges can hardly be construed 
as a proof of conspiracy. 

When I finally had written out my conclusion I sent a copy 
of it to Mr. Rogers, saying I should be glad to talk it over with 
him if he wished. He did wish wrote me that he had new mate- 
rial to present. But before the date set for the meeting an article 
in our series was published which broke off our friendly relations. 

In studying the testimony of independents over a period of 
some thirty years I had found repeated complaints that their 
oil shipments were interfered with, their cars side-tracked en 
route while pressure was brought on buyers to cancel orders. 
There were frequent charges that freight clerks were reporting 
independent shipments. 

I did not take the matter seriously at first. The general sus- 
picion of Standard dealings by independents had to be taken 
into consideration, I told myself. Then, too, I was willing to 
admit that a certain amount of attention to what your com- 
petitor is doing is considered legitimate business practice. I knew 
that in the ofBce of McClure's Magazine we were very keen to 
know what other publishers were doing. And, too, there is the 
overzealous and unscrupulous employee who in the name of 
competition recognizes no rules for his game. 

But the charges continued to multiply. I met them in testi- 
mony, and I met them in interviews. There was no escaping 
espionage, men told me. "They know where we send every barrel 
of oil. Half the time our oil never reaches its destination." I 
could scarcely believe it. And then unexpectedly there came to 
my desk a mass of incontrovertible proofs that what I had been 


hearing was true and more. As a matter of fact this system of 
following up independent oil shipments was letter-perfect, so 
perfect that it was made a matter of office bookkeeping. 

"It looks sometimes," Mr. Rogers had said to me, "as if some- 
thing had the Standard Oil Company by the neck, something 
bigger than we are." 

In this case the something bigger was a boy's conscience. A lad 
of sixteen or seventeen in the office of a Standard plant had as 
one of his regular monthly duties the burning of large quan- 
tities of records. He had carried out his orders for many months 
without attention to the content. Then suddenly his eyes fell 
one night on the name of a man who had been his friend since 
childhood, had even been his Sunday-school teacher, an inde- 
pendent oil refiner in the city, a Standard competitor. The boy 
began to take notice; he discovered that the name appeared re- 
peatedly on different forms and in the letters which he was 
destroying. It made him uneasy, and he began to piece the rec- 
ords together. It was not long before he saw to his distress that 
the concern for which he was working was getting from the 
railroad offices of the town full information about every ship- 
ment that his friend was making; moreover, that the office was 
writing to its representative in the territory to which the inde- 
pendent oil was going, "Stop that shipment get that trade." 
And the correspondence showed how both were done. 

What was a youth to do under such circumstances ? He didn't 
do anything at first, but finally when he could not sleep nights 
for thinking about it he gathered up a full set of documents and 
secretly took them to his friend. 

Now this particular oil refiner had been reading the McClure's 
articles. He had become convinced that I was trying to deal fairly 
with the matter; he had also convinced himself in some way 
that I was to be trusted. So one night he brought me the full 
set of incriminating documents. There was no doubt about their 
genuineness. The most interesting to me was the way they fitted 


in with the testimony scattered through the investigations and law- 
suits. Here were bookkeeping records explaining every accusa- 
tion that had been made. But how could I use them? Together 
we worked out a plan by which the various forms and blanks 
could be reproduced with fictitious names of persons and places 
substituted for the originals. 

It was after this material had come to my hands that I took 
the subject up with Mr. Rogers. "The original South Improve- 
ment Company formula, Mr. Rogers, provided for reports of 
independent shipments from the railroads. I have come on re- 
peated charges that the practice continues. What about it? Do 
you follow independent shipments? Do you stop them? Do you 
have the help of railroad shipping clerks in the operation? 53 

"Of course we do everything we legally and fairly can to find 
out what our competitors are doing, just as you do in McClure's 
Magazine, 9 * Mr. Rogers answered. "But as for any such system 
of tracking and stopping, as you suggest, that is nonsense. How 
could we do it even if we would?" 

"Well," I said, "give me everything you have on this point." 

He said he had nothing more than what he had already told me. 

As I have said, the article came out just before I was to see 
Mr. Rogers on what I hoped would be the last of the Buffalo 
case. The only time in all my relations with him when I saw his 
face white with rage was when I met the appointment he had 
made. Our interview was short. 

"Where did you get that stuff?" he said angrily, pointing to 
the magazine on the table. 

All I could say was in substance: "Mr. Rogers, you can't 
for a moment think that I would tell you where I got it. You 
will recall my efforts to get from you anything more than a 
general denial that these practices of espionage so long com- 
plained of were untrue, could be explained by legitimate com- 
petition. You know this bookkeeping record is true." 

There were a few curt exchanges about other points in the 


material, but nothing as I now recall on the Buffalo case. The 
article ended my visits to 26 Broadway. 

Nearly four years passed before I saw Henry Rogers, and 
in that period exciting and tragic events had come his way. 

There was the copper war. He and his friends had attempted 
to build up a monopoly in copper to match that of the Standard 
Oil Company in petroleum, the Amalgamated Copper Company. 
A youngster, F. Augustus Heinze, had come into Montana, and 
by bold and ruthless operation put together a copper company 
of his own. The two organizations were soon at each other's 
throats. It was a business war without a vestige of decency, one 
in which every devious device of the law and of politics was re- 
sorted to by both sides. 

But Mr. Rogers had other troubles. He and his friends had 
been engaged in organizing the gas interests of the East. They 
had engineered stock raids which had been as disastrous to 
Wall Street as to gambling Main Street. Such operations in the 
past had never cost him more than a passing angry comment by 
the public press. Now, however, came something damaging to 
his reputation and his pride. It was a series of lurid articles by 
a bold and very-much-on-the-inside broker and speculator 
Thomas Lawson of Boston. For nearly two years Lawson pub- 
lished monthly in Everybody's Magazine under the admirable 
title "Frenzied Finance" circumstantial accounts of the specu- 
lation of the Rogers group and what they had cost their dupes. 
That story cut Mr. Rogers' pride to the quick. He is said to 
have threatened the American News Company with destruction 
if it circulated the magazine. 

Taken all together the excitement and anger were too much for 
even his iron frame and indomitable spirit, and in the summer 
of 1907 he suffered a stroke which put him out of the fight for 
many weeks. When he came back it was at once to collide with 
the Government suit against the Standard Oil Company, and 
soon after that with the "rich man's panic" of 1907, a panic for 


which liis old enemy in copper, F. Augustus Heinze, was largely 

Early in November, when the panic was still raiding the banks 
and the millionaires of the country, I stood one day at a comer 
on Fifth Avenue waiting for the traffic to clear. Suddenly I saw 
an arm waving to me from a slowly passing open automobile, 
and there was H. H. Rogers smiling at me in the friendliest way. 

When I reported the encounter at the office Mr. Phillips at 
once said: 

"Why not try to see him? If he'll talk about what is going on, 
what a story he could tell!" 

But would he see me? I was a little dubious about trying. Still 
the greeting and the smile seemed to mean that at least he har- 
bored no ill will. Suppose, I said, he is sufficiently subdued to 
go over with me his exciting life. What a document of big busi- 
ness in the eighties and nineties he could produce if he would 
put down his recollections with the frankness with which he had 
sometimes talked to me ! It seemed worth trying for, and I asked 
for an appointment. I had not made a mistake. Mr. Rogers was 
harboring no ill will. I was promptly invited to come to his house. 
He greeted me heartily. I found him physically changed, stouter, 
less sinewy, but quite as frank as ever. He told me of his stroke ; 
he spoke bitterly of what he called the Roosevelt panic as well 
as of Roosevelt's interference with the business of the Standard 
Oil Company. He gave me my cue when he began to talk about 
the early days of the Oil Region. "There is a whole chapter," 
he said, "that has not been written, that from '59 to '72." 

We were getting on. swimmingly when our interview was cut 
short by a card handed him Joseph Seep, the head of the Stand- 
ard Oil Purchasing Agency. It amused him greatly that Mr. 
Seep should have come in while I was there. 

"Now you'll have to go," he said, and he put me out by a cir- 
cuitous route. As at 26 Broadway callers were not to see one 


As we came into a dark hall he turned on the light. "You see 
we have to economize now," he said laughingly. Our good-bye 
was cordial. "We'll talk about this again/ 5 he said. "Call up 
Miss Harrison in a week or ten days, and we'll make an appoint- 

The appointment was never made. The coming months were 
too difficult for Mr. Rogers. His vast business affairs continued 
complicated; the legend of his invincibility in the market was 
weakened. Moreover, such was the bitterness of the Standard Oil 
Company over the Government suit that I doubt if he or his 
associates would have considered it wise for him to talk to me. 
They probably thought he had talked already too much to too 
little purpose. They and he probably never understood how 
much he had done to make me realize the legitimate greatness 
of the Standard Oil Company, how much he had done to make 
me understand better the vastness and complexity of its prob- 
lems and the amazing grasp with which it dealt with them. 

Their complaint against me, Mr. Rogers' complaint, was that 
I had never been able to submerge my contempt for their illegiti- 
mate practices in my admiration for their genius in organiza- 
tion, the boldness of their imagination and execution. But my 
contempt had increased rather than diminished as I worked. 

I never had an animus against their size and wealth, never 
objected to their corporate form. I was willing that they should 
combine and grow as big and rich as they could, but only by 
legitimate means. But they had never played fair, and that ruined 
their greatness for me. I am convinced that their brilliant exam- 
ple has contributed not only to a weakening of the country's 
moral standards but to its economic unsoundness. The experi- 
ence of the last decade particularly seems to me to amply justify 
my conviction. 

I was never to see Mr. Rogers again, for in May of 1909 he 
suddenly died two years before the Supreme Court dissolved 
the Standard Oil Company. 


IT WAS inevitable that my visits to 26 Broadway should be noised 
among critics and enemies of the Standard Oil Company curious 
about what McClure's was going to do. It was not infrequent for 
some one on the independent side to say with a wise nod of the 
head: "Oh, they'll get around you. You'll become their apologist 
before you get through." It was quite useless for me to insist 
that I was trying to be nobody's apologist, that I was trying to 
balance what I found. At least two people of importance whose 
experiences I was anxious to hear from their own lips refused to 
see me. I learned later that Henry D. Lloyd had written them 
after he learned I was seeing Mr. Rogers that they had better 
not talk, better not show me their papers, that inevitably I should 
be taken in. 

Now I had already talked with Mr. Lloyd, already had help 
from him, but the Rogers association evidently upset him for a 
time. My first article seemed to reassure him, for he wrote me 
at once on its appearance: "I read your first installment of the 
story of the Standard Oil Company with eager curiosity, then 
intense interest and then great satisfaction." He seems to have 
divined at once where I was heading. 

The suspicion of my relations with 26 Broadway cut me off 
for some two years from one of the most interesting independent 
warriors in the thirty years' struggle. This was one Lewis Emery, 
Jr., whom I had known from childhood. He had grown up in 
the oil business, side by side with H. H. Rogers ; he had been a 
producer and a refiner as well as one of the powerful factors in 
building up the Pure Oil Company, the integrated concern in 
which my brother was carrying on. From the start Mr. Emery 



had fought the Standard's pretensions, individually and collec- 
tively, politically and financially. He had a gift for language a 
marvelous vituperative vocabulary and he had no restraint in 
using it. He was a feature of almost every investigation, every 
lawsuit, a member of every combination of producers and refiners. 
Where he was, there were sure to be lively exchanges between him 
and the representatives of the other side. His particular abom- 
ination was John Archbold, vice president of the Standard Oil 
Company, a person as free with charges and epithets as Lewis 
Emery himself. 

"You are a liar," he shouted one day in an investigation when 
Mr. Emery had made an exaggerated charge. 

Joseph H. Choate was Mr. Archbold's lawyer. 

"There, there, Mr. Archbold !" he said. "We'll put Mr. Emery 
on the stand and convict him of perjury." 

Without noticing Mr. Choate's remark Mr. Emery called 
across the table, "Young man, if this table wasn't so wide I would 
tweak your nose for that." 

Such exchanges were not infrequent. 

Henry Rogers, who really liked Lewis Emery, was always try- 
ing to calm him down. "Can't you stop this, Lew?" he said one 
day. "Come with us, and it will be better for you. There is no 
hope for you alone, but with us there is a sure thing." 

Mr. Emery, who told me of this offer, said : "Henry, I can't do 
it even if I wanted to. They would mob me in the Oil Region if 
I went back on them." 

They would not have mobbed him, but they would have done 
what would have been worse for a man of his temperament, his 
passion for free action whether wise or unwise they would have 
ostracized him. 

The most tragic effect I had seen in my girlhood of "going 
over to the Standard," as it was called, was partial ostracism of 
the renegade. When a man's old associates crossed to the other 
side of the street rather than meet him, when nobody stopped 


him on the street corner to gossip over what was going on, few 
men were calloused enough not to suffer. It was worse than mob- 
bing. The Oil Region as a matter of fact never mobbed any man 
so far as I know, though it did occasionally destroy property and 
once at least hung Mr. Rockefeller himself in effigy. 

By this time Lewis Emery had fought his way to a substantial 
position in the oil world; but to the end he prided himself on 
being a victim. When he finally talked to me after he learned 
from Mr. Lloyd that the embargo against me had been raised, 
he said, with what seemed to me considerable satisfaction: "I 
have been tortured. I am a wounded man because of them, and 
I hate them." 

In spite of this he was getting a good deal out of life. He was 
a rich man, and he was making the most of his money. He never 
let money stifle his personality. His success in being himself was 
in striking contrast to that of most of the successful oil men of 
that day whom I knew. Most of them, independent and Standard, 
submitted to an application of veneer, a change of habits which 
destroyed much of their natural flavor. They took little part in 
politics and social agitation ; they remained regular in all things ; 
they made their investments only in sure enterprises. You knew 
always where to find them. But not so Lewis Emery, Jr. He con- 
tinued to wear his clothes naturally, to go on his own erratic 
way. He threw himself into political movements, wise and un- 
wise, and he never lost his pioneering spirit. After he was seventy 
years old, as a final fling, he took on a gold mine in Peru, a gold 
mine which was reached by climbing mountains and descending 
narrow paths cut out of rock, crossing swaying rope bridges 
approaches fit only for the most daring mountain climbers. Yet 
there he was when nearly eighty charging up and down those 
mountains and trotting his mule across those bridges when 
younger men led their mules and crept. 

The degree to which he was reconciled to me after two years 
of ostracism was proved by his annual invitation to come along 


to Peru with his party. And I would have gone and told the story 
of his mine as he wanted me to do if it had not been for the pic- 
tures he sent me those pictures of unprotected swaying bridges 
suspended from mountain side to mountain side, hundreds of feet 
above the rushing rocky streams. I had not the head for that, 
and so gave up what would have been, I am sure, one of the most 
amusing adventures that ever came my way. 

Not a few of the personal experiences in gathering my mate- 
rials left me with unhappy impressions, more unhappy in retro- 
spect perhaps than they were at the moment. They were part of 
the day's work, sometimes very exciting parts. There was the 
two hours I spent in studying Mr. John D. Rockefeller. As 
the work had gone on, it became more and more clear to me that 
the Standard Oil Company was his creation. "An institution is the 
lengthened shadow of one man," says Emerson. I found it so. 

Everybody in the office interested in the work began to say, 
"After the book is done you must do a character sketch of Mr. 
Rockefeller." I was not keen for it. It would have to be done like 
the books, from documents ; that is, I had no inclination to use 
the extraordinary gossip which came to me from many sources. 
If I were to do it I wanted only that of which I felt I had sure 
proof, only those things which seemed to me to help explain the 
public life of this powerful, patient, secretive, calculating man of 
so peculiar and special a genius. 

"You must at least look at Mr. Rockefeller," my associates 
insisted. "But how?" Mr. Rogers himself had suggested that I 
see him. I had consented. I had returned to the suggestion sev- 
eral times, but at last was made to understand that it could not 
be done. I had dropped his name from my list. It was John Siddall 
who then took the matter in hand. 

"You must see him," was Siddall's judgment. 

To arrange it became almost an obsession. And then what 
seemed to him like a providential opening came. It was announced 
that on a certain Sunday of October 1903 Mr. Rockefeller be- 


fore leaving Cleveland, where he had spent his summer, for his 
home in New York would say good-bye in a little talk to the 
Sunday school of his church a rally, it was called. As soon as 
Siddall learned of this he begged me to come on. "We can go to 
Sunday school; we can stay to church. I will see that we have 
seats where we will have a full view of the man. You will get him 
in action." 

Of course I went, feeling a little mean about it too. He had 
not wanted to be seen apparently. It was taking him unaware. 

SiddalPs plan worked to perfection, worked so well from the 
start that again and again he seemed ready to burst from ex- 
citement in the two hours we spent in the church. 

We had gone early to the Sunday-school room where the rally 
was to open a dismal room with a barbaric dark green paper 
with big gold designs, cheap stained-glass windows, awkward gas 
fixtures. Comfortable, of course, but so stupidly ugly. We were 
sitting meekly at one side when I was suddenly aware of a strik- 
ing figure standing in the doorway. There was an awful age in 
his face the oldest man I had ever seen, I thought, but what 
power! At that moment Siddall poked me violently in the ribs 
and hissed, "There he is." 

The impression of power deepened when Mr. Rockefeller took 
off his coat and hat, put on a skullcap, and took a seat command- 
ing the entire room, his back to the wall. It was the head which 
riveted attention. It was big, great breadth from back to front, 
high broad forehead, big bumps behind the ears, not a shiny 
head but with a wet look. The skin was as fresh as that of any 
healthy man about us. The thin sharp nose was like a thorn. 
There were no lips; the mouth looked as if the teeth were all 
shut hard. Deep furrows ran down each side of the mouth from 
the nose. There were puffs under the little colorless eyes with 
creases running from them. 

Wonder over the head was almost at once diverted to wonder 
over the man's uneasiness. His eyes were never quiet but darted 


from face to face, even peering around the jog at the audience 
close to the wall. 

When he rose to speak, the impression of power that the first 
look at him had given increased, and the impression of age 
passed. I expected a quavering voice, but the voice was not even 
old, if a little fatigued, a little thin. It was clear and utterly 
sincere. He meant what he was saying. He was on his own ground 
talking about dividends, dividends of righteousness. "If you 
would take something out," he said, clenching the hand of his 
outstretched right arm, "you must put something in" emphasiz- 
ing "put something in" with a long outstretched forefinger. 

The talk over, we slipped out to get a good seat in the gal- 
lery, a seat where we could look full on what we knew to be the 
Rockefeller pew. 

Mr. Rockefeller came into the auditorium of the church as 
soon as Sunday school was out. He sat a little bent in his pew, 
pitifully uneasy, his head constantly turning to the farthest right 
or left, his eyes searching the faces almost invariably turned 
towards him. It was plain that he, and not the minister, was the 
pivot on which that audience swung. Probably he knew practi- 
cally everybody in the congregation; but now and then he lin- 
gered on a face, peering at it intently as if he were seeking what 
was in the mind behind it. He looked frequently at the gallery. 
Was it at Siddall and me? 

The services over, he became the friendly patron saint of the 
flock. Coming down the aisle where people were passing out, he 
shook hands with everyone who stopped, saying, "A good ser- 
mon." "The Doctor gave us a good sermon." "It was a very 
good sermon, wasn't it?" 

My two hours' study of Mr. Rockefeller aroused a feeling I 
had not expected, which time has intensified. I was sorry for him. 
I know no companion so terrible as fear. Mr. Rockefeller, for 
all the conscious power written in face and voice and figure, was 
afraid, I told myself, afraid of his own kind. My friend Lewis 


Emery, Jr., priding himself on being a victim, -was free and 
happy. Not gold enough in the world to tempt him to exchange 
his love of defiance for a power which carried with it a head as 
uneasy as that on Mr. Rockefeller's shoulders. 

My unhappiness was increased as the months went hy with 
the multiplying of tales of grievances coming from every direction. 
I made a practice of looking into them all, as far as I could ; and 
while frequently I found solid reasons for the complaints, fre- 
quently I found the basic motives behind them suspicion, hun- 
ger for notoriety, blackmail, revenge. 

The most unhappy and most unnatural of these grievances 
came to me from literally the last person in the world to whom 
I should have looked for information Frank Rockefeller 
brother of John D. Rockefeller. 

Frank Rockefeller sent word to me by a circuitous route that 
he had documents in a case which he thought ought to be made 
public, and that if I would secretly come to him in his office in 
Cleveland he would give them to me. I knew that there had been 
a quarrel over property between the two men. It made much 
noise at the time 1893 had gone to the courts, had caused bit- 
terness inside the family itself ; but because it was a family affair 
I had not felt that I wanted to touch it. But here it was laid on 
my desk. 

So I went to Cleveland, where John Siddall had a grand oppor- 
tunity to play the role of sleuth which he so enjoyed, his problem 
being to get me into Mr. Rockefeller's office without anybody 
suspecting my identity. He succeeded. 

I found Mr. Rockefeller excited and vindictive. He accused 
his brother of robbing (his word) him and his partner James 
Corrigan of all their considerable holdings of stock in the Stand- 
ard Oil Company. The bare facts were that Frank Rockefeller 
and James Corrigan had been interested in the early Standard 
Oil operations in Cleveland and had each acquired then a substan- 
tial block of stock. Later they had developed a shipping business 


on the Lakes, iron and steel furnaces in Cleveland. In the eighties 
they had borrowed money from John D. Rockefeller, putting up 
their Standard Oil stock as collateral. Then came the panic of 
*93, and they could not meet their obligations. In the middle of 
their distress John Rockefeller had foreclosed, taking over their 
stocks, leaving them, so they charged, no time in which to turn 
around although they felt certain that they would be able a lit- 
tle later, out of the substantial business they claimed they had 
built up, to pay their debt to him. Their future success proved 
they could have done so. 

I could see John Rockefeller's point as I talked with his brother 
Prank. Frank Rockefeller was an open-handed, generous trader 
more interested in the game than in the money to be made. 
He loved good horses raised them, I believe, on a farm out in 
Kansas ; he liked gaiety, free spending. From his brother John's 
point of view he was not a safe man to handle money. He did 
not reverence it ; he used it in frivolous ways of which his brother 
did not approve. So it was as a kind of obligation to the sacred- 
ness of money that John Rockefeller had foreclosed on his own 
brother and his early friend James Corrigan. He was strictly 
within his legal rights and within what I suppose he called his 
moral right. 

But the transaction left a bitterness in Frank Rockefeller's 
heart and mind which was one of the ugliest things I have ever 
seen. "I have taken up my children from the Rockefeller family 
lot. [Or "shall take up" I do not know now which it was.] 
They shall not lie in the same enclosure with John D. Rocke- 

The documents in this case, which I later analyzed for the char- 
acter sketch on which we had decided, present a fair example of 
what were popularly called "Standard Oil methods" as well as 
what they could do to the minds and hearts of victims. 

The more intimately I went into my subject, the more hateful 
it became to me. No achievement on earth could justify those 


methods, I felt. I had a great desire to end my task,, hear no 
more of it. No doubt part of my revulsion was due to a fagged 
brain. The work had turned out to be much longer and more 
laborious than I had had reason to expect. 

The plan I had taken to Mr. McClure in the fall of 1890, 
which we had talked over in Salsomaggiore, Italy I still have 
notes of our talk on a yellow piece of the stationery of the Hotel 
des Thermes called for three papers, possibly twenty-five thou- 
sand words. But before we actually began publication Mr. Phil- 
lips and Mr. McClure decided we might venture on six. We went 
through the six, and the series was stretched to twelve. Before 
we were through we had nineteen articles, and when the nine- 
teen were off my hands I asked nothing in the world but to get 
them into a book and escape into the safe retreat of a library 
where I could study people long dead, and if they did things of 
which I did not approve it would be all between me and the 
books. There would be none of these harrowing human beings 
confronting me, tearing me between contempt and pity, admira- 
tion and anger, baffling me with their futile and misdirected 
power or their equally futile and misdirected weakness. I was 
willing to study human beings in the library but no longer, for 
a time at least, in flesh and blood, so I thought. 

The book was published in the fall of 1904 two fat volumes 
with generous appendices of what I considered essential docu- 
ments. I was curious about the reception it would have from 
the Standard Oil Company. I had been told repeatedly they were 
preparing an answer to flatten me out; but if this was under 
way it was not with Mr. Rockefeller's consent, I imagined. To a 
mutual friend who had told him the articles should be answered 
Mr. Rockefeller was said to have replied: "Not a word. Not a 
word about that misguided woman." To another who asked him 
about my charges he was reported as answering: "All without 
foundation. The idea of the Standard forcing anyone to sell his 
refinery is absurd. The refineries wanted to sell to us, and no- 


body that has sold or worked with us but has made money, Is glad 
he did so. 

"I thought once of having an answer made to the McClure 
articles but you know it has always been the policy of the Stand- 
ard to keep silent under attack and let their acts speak for them- 

In the case of the Lloyd book they had kept silent, but only 
because Mr. Rockefeller had been unable to carry out his plans 
for answering. What he had proposed was a jury of the most 
distinguished clergymen of the day to consider Mr. Lloyd's argu- 
ment and charges. Certain clergymen invited refused unless there 
should be a respectable number of economists added to the jury. 
That, apparently, Mr. Rockefeller did not see his way to do, and 
the plan was abandoned. So far as I know Mr. Lloyd's book was 
never answered by the Standard Oil Company. 

But I wanted an answer from Mr. Rockefeller. What I got was 
neither direct nor, from my point of view, serious. It consisted 
of wide and what must have been a rather expensive anonymous 
distribution of various critical comments. The first of these was 
a review of the book which appeared in the Nation soon after its 
publication. The writer one of the Nation's staff reviewers, I 
later learned sneered at the idea that there was anything un- 
usual in the competitive practices which I called illegal and im- 
moral. "They are a necessary part of competition," he said. "The 
practices are odious it is true, competition is necessarily odious." 
Was it necessarily odious? 

I did not think so. The practices I believed I had proved, I 
continued to consider much more dangerous to economic stability 
than airing them, even if I aired them in the excited and irra- 
tional fashion the review charged. As I saw it, the struggle was 
between Commercial Machiavellism and the Christian Code. 

The most important of the indirect answers was an able book 
by Gilbert Holland Montague. It separated business and ethics 
in a way that must have been a comfort to 6 Broadway. 


As soon as published, Mr. Montague's book became not exactly 
a best seller but certainly a best circulator libraries, ministers, 
teachers, prominent citizens all over the land receiving copies 
with the compliments of the publisher. Numbers of them came 
back to me with irritated letters. "We have been buying books 
for years from this house," wrote one distinguished librarian, 
"and never before was one sent with their compliments. I under- 
stand that libraries all over the country are receiving them. Can 
it be that this is intended as an advertisement, or is it not more 
probable that the Standard Oil Company itself is paying for this 
widespread distribution?" 

The general verdict seemed to be that the latter was the ex- 

Some time later there came from the entertaining Elbert Hub- 
bard of the Roycroft Shop of East Aurora, New York, an essay 
on the Standard extolling the grand results from the centraliza- 
tion of the industry in their hands. 

I have it from various interested sources that five million cop- 
ies were ordered printed in pamphlet form by the Standard Oil 
Company and were distributed by Mr. Hubbard. They went to 
schoolteachers and journalists, preachers and "leaders" from the 
Atlantic to the Pacific. Hardly were they received in many cases 
before they were sent to me with angry or approving comments. 
For a couple of years my birthday and Christmas offerings were 
sure to include copies of one or the other of these documents with 
the compliments of some waggish member of the McClure group. 

I had hoped that the book might be received as a legitimate 
historical study, but to my chagrin I found myself included in 
a new school, that of the muckrakers. Theodore Roosevelt, then 
President of the United States, had become uneasy at the effect 
on the public of the periodical press's increasing criticisms and 
investigations of business and political abuses. He was afraid 
that they were adding to the not inconsiderable revolutionary 
fever abroad, driving people into socialism. Something must be 


done, and in a typically violent speech he accused the school of 
being concerned only with the "vile and debasing." Its members 
were like the man in John Bunyan's "Pilgrim's Progress" who 
with eyes on the ground raked incessantly "the straws, the small 
sticks, and dust of the floor." They were muckrakers. The con- 
servative public joyfully seized the name. 

Roosevelt had of course misread his Bunyan. The man to 
whom the Interpreter called the attention of the Pilgrim was 
raking riches which the Interpreter contemptuously called 
"straws" and "sticks" and "dust." The president would have 
been nearer Bunyan's meaning if he had named the rich sinners 
of the times who in his effort to keep his political balance he 
called "malefactors of great wealth" if he had called them, 
"muckrakers of great wealth" and applied the word "malefac- 
tors" to the noisy and persistent writers who so disturbed him. 

I once argued with Mr. Roosevelt that we on McClure's were 
concerned only with facts, not with stirring up revolt. "I don't 
object to the facts," he cried, "but you and Baker" Baker at 
that time was carrying on an able series of articles on the manip- 
ulations of the railroads "but you and Baker are not practical" 

I felt at the time Mr. Roosevelt had a good deal of the usual 
conviction of the powerful man in public life that correction 
should be left to him, a little resentment that a profession out- 
side his own should be stealing his thunder. 

This classification of muckraker, which I did not like, helped 
fix my resolution to have done for good and all with the subject 
which had brought it on me. But events were stronger than I. 
All the radical reforming element, and I numbered many friends 
among them, were begging me to join their movements. I soon 
found that most of them wanted attacks. They had little inter- 
est in balanced findings. Now I was convinced that in the long 
run the public they were trying to stir would weary of vitupera- 
tion, that if you were to secure permanent results the mind must 
be convinced. 


One of the most heated movements at the moment was the 
effort to persuade the public to refuse all gifts which came from 
fortunes into the making of which it was known illegal and un- 
fair practices had gone. "Do not touch tainted money," men 
thundered from pulpit and platform, among them so able a man 
as Dr. Washington Gladden. The Rockefeller fortune was sin- 
gled out because about this time Mr. Rockefeller made some un- 
usually large contributions to colleges and churches and general 
philanthropy. "It is done," cried the critics, "in order to silence 
criticism." Frequently some one said to me, "You have opened 
the Rockefeller purse." But I knew, and said in print rather to 
the disgust of my friends in the movement, that there was an 
unfairness to Mr. Rockefeller in this outcry. It did not take 
public criticism to open his purse. From boyhood he had been 
a steady giver in proportion to his income 10 per cent went to 
the Lord and through all the harrowing early years in which 
he was trying to establish himself as a money-maker he never 
neglected to give the Lord the established proportion. As his 
fortune grew his gifts grew larger. He not only gave but saw 
the money given was wisely spent; and he trained his children, 
particularly the son who was to administer his estate, to as wise 
practice in public giving as we have ever had. That is, it did not 
take a public outcry such as came in the early years of this cen- 
tury against the methods of the Standard Oil Company to force 
Mr. Rockefeller to share his wealth. He was already sharing it. 
Indeed, in the fifteen years before 1904 he had given to one or 
another cause some thirty-five million dollars. 

If his gifts were larger at this time than they had ever been 
before, his money-making was greater. If they were more spec- 
tacular than ever before, it may have been because he thought it 
was time to call the public's attention to what they were getting 
out of the Standard Oil fortune. At all events it seemed to me 
only fair that the point should be emphasized that it had not 


taken a public revolt against his methods to force him to share 
his profits. 

I could not escape the controversies, hard as I tried. Nor 
could I escape events, events which were forcing me against my 
will to continue my observations and reports. My book was 
hardly published before it was apparent that the oil field which 
it had covered and which for so long had been supposed to be 
the only American oil field of importance was soon to be sur- 
passed by those in the Southwest. The first state to force recog- 
nition of the change on the country at large was Kansas, where 
suddenly in the spring of 1905 there broke out an agitation as 
unexpected to most observers as it was interesting to those who 
knew their oil history. Kansas, we old-timers told ourselves, was 
duplicating what the Oil Creek had done in 1872. It was put- 
ting on a revolt. How had it come about? 

For a number of years "wildcatters" with or without money 
had been prospecting for oil in the state. Only a modest pro- 
duction had rewarded them at first, but in 1904 oil suddenly 
poured forth in great quantities. On the instant Kansas went 
oil-mad, practically every farmer in the state dreamed of flow- 
ing wells. As soon as it was proved that Kansas was to be a large 
field the Standard took charge. It leased, drilled, and, most im- 
portant, it threaded the state with its pipe-line system. No sooner 
was oil proved to be on a farmer's land than the pipe-line peo- 
ple were there caring for it at market rates. But they began not 
only to develop and handle scientifically and efficiently, but quite 
as scientifically and efficiently they began to get rid of all the 
small fry that in the early days of small wells had been refining 
and marketing. They would take all the oil that Kansas could 
produce, they said, but on their own terms: they wanted no 

As soon as this became clear to Kansas the state rose in revolt. 
The Populists, who for six years now must needs grumble in a 
corner, came out to inveigh with all of their old fervor against 


the trust. Women's clubs took it up, political parties took it up. 
A program was developed, the gist of which was that Kansas 
would take care of its own oil. Bills were introduced into the 
legislature calculated to control railroad rates, pipe-line rates, 
competitive marketing. To the joy of the Populists and to the 
horror of the conservatives a bill for a state refinery was pre- 
sented by the governor himself. Kansas had a hemp factory in 
the state penitentiary not doing so badly. Why should not the 
penitentiary run an oil refinery, too? The legislature agreed to 
do it. 

The excitement grew and so attracted the attention of the 
country that the office concluded that I must go out and see what 
I could make of it. I did not much want to go, not only because 
of my desire to free myself of the subject but because my heart 
was too heavy with personal loss to feel enthusiasm for any task. 
In the spring of 1905 my father had died after a long slow ill- 
ness. To me he had always been everything that is summed up 
in the word "dear. 55 Modest, humorous, hard-working, friendly, 
faithful in what he conceived to be the right, he loved his family 
and friends and church, and asked only to serve them. His busi- 
ness associates held him as a man of honor and a gentleman. 

Father's death for a time darkened my world. Later I began 
to realize that the dearness of him was to remain as a permanent 
thing in my life. But in 1905 this sense of continued companion- 
ship was something which came slowly out of a dark sea of loss. 
So it was with a heavy heart that I went to see what was happen- 
ing in Kansas. 

First I wanted to see with my own eyes if the fields I had been 
hearing about were as rich as advertised ; so I spent some ten days 
driving about southeastern Kansas and northeastern Oklahoma, 
then just coming in with the promise of great wells. It was about 
as exciting a journey as I ever have made. It was on one of 
these trips I saw my first dust storm. Driving in a buckboard 
behind two spirited horses across a practically unbroken prairie, 


my companion suddenly looked behind him. " Jehoshaphat I" he 
shouted. "Wrap your head up." I turned to see the sky from 
horizon to zenith filled with dark rolling clouds. It was not from 
fire. What was it? "A dust storm," my companion cried. 

Quickly and expertly he prepared to take it. He loosened the 
checkreins of the horses, and the spirited animals evidently know- 
ing what they were in for dropped their heads as low as they 
could hold them and leaned up against each other. We wrapped 
ourselves as closely as we could and, like the horses, clung to each 
other. The storm did not last long, but it was pretty awful while 
it did. The air was thick, you could not breathe. But it passed, 
and I was ordered to shake myself out. I found that I was almost 
engulfed with a fine black dust, that it was packed close to the 
hubs of the wheels of our buckboard. It was ten days before I got 
rid of that dust, for it was ten days before I had a real bath. The 
dust had turned the primitive water supplies into a muddy liquid 
quite impossible to drink and hopeless for cleansing. 

The wonder of it was that the real discomforts counted not 
at all at the time. I had joined an eager, determined, exultant 
procession of wildcatters and promoters, of youths looking for 
their chance or seeking adventure for the first time, tasting it 
to the fuU. 

Nothing so great as this Kansas and Indian Territory field 
had ever been known. Every well was to be a gusher, every settle- 
ment a city. On every side they were selling town lots and stock 
in oil companies. One of the most irresponsible stock-selling 
schemes I have ever known, I happened on in one of these trips. 
Two anxious-faced boys were going about among experienced 
oilmen begging them for oil leases, preferably oil leases on which 
there was a proved well. The lads had come as sightseers and had 
been caught in the wild excitement of the region. Everybody 
had a scheme to make himself and his friends rich. Why not 
they? And largely as a joke they had sent out a flamboyant 
letter offering stock in a mythical oil field. The letter had gone to 


scores of innocents in the East, and in answer schoolteachers, 
clergymen, and women with little or no money had poured in 

If there had been few subscriptions they would have been able 
to return them, but here they were when I saw them with literally 
a suitcase full of checks and money orders and not a foot of land 
leased, and in the excitement there was practically no land to be 
had. They must either get a lease or go to the penitentiary, they 
concluded. Hence their alarm, their pitiful begging of older men 
to help them out of the predicament into which their irresponsi- 
bility had plunged them. 

It was not long before I found I was being taken for some- 
thing more serious than a mere journalist. Conservative Standard 
Oil sympathizers regarded me as a spy and not infrequently de- 
nounced me as an enemy to society. Independent oilmen and 
radical editors, who were in the majority, called me a prophet. 
It brought fantastic situations where I was utterly unfit to play 
the part. A woman of twenty-five, fresh, full of zest, only inter- 
ested in what was happening to her, would have reveled in the 
experience. But here I was fifty, fagged, wanting to be let 
alone while I collected trustworthy information for my articles 
dragged to the front as an apostle. 

The funniest things were the welcomes. The funniest of all 
was at the then new town of Tulsa, Oklahoma. I had arrived late 
at night in what seemed to me a no man's land, and after con- 
siderable trouble had 'found a place in a rough little hostelry 
where I was so suspicious of the look of things that I moved the 
bureau against the lockless door. I am sure now that I was as safe 
there as I should have been in my bed at home. 

I had registered, of course, and the next morning before I 
had finished my breakfast I was waited on by the editor of the 
local newspaper, who took me to his office, a barnlike structure 
next door, for an interview. Almost immediately a handsome 
youth in knickerbockers and high laced boots came hurriedly in. 


"I think I ought to tell yon. Miss Tarbell," he said with a grin, 
"that you are in for a serenade." 

"A serenade/ 5 I said, "what do you mean?" 

"Well," he said, "the Tulsa boomers have been making a tour 
of cities to the north. Their special train has just come in; they 
want something to celebrate, and, learning that you were in 
town they are sending up the band to welcome you. They want 
a speech." 

I had never made an impromptu speech in my life. I was hor- 
rified at the idea. "You must get me out of this," I begged of my 
gallant but very amused informer. 

"No," he said, "there is no way to Escape. Here they are." 

And there they were a band of thirty or forty pieces, several 
of the players stalwart Indians. 

I had to face it, and for once in my life I had a happy idea. 
"Go buy me two boxes of the best cigars that are to be had in 
town." And I shoved a bill into his hand. "Go quickly." 

And then the band began. Not so bad, but so funny. There I 
was standing on the sidewalk with all the masculine inhabitants 
of Tulsa so it seemed to me packed about, some of them seri- 
ous and some of them highly delighted at my obvious consterna- 
tion. I had not guessed wrong about the cigars. They preferred 
them to a speech, I saw as I passed around the circle distributing 
them to the players. What was left I gave to the bodyguard 
which had assembled to back me up. A compliment I have always 
treasured was given by one of the Indians, as he watched me 
disposing of my goods: "He all right." Still more flattering it 
was as I went around in Tulsa that day to meet gentlemen who had 
fat cigars tied with little red ribbons in their buttonholes, and 
to have them point gaily to them as I passed. 

But the serenade was not the end of the celebration. That 
afternoon I was taken out in a barouche the only one in the 
countryside, I was told the band behind, and paraded up and 
down the distracted streets of Tulsa. A day or two later when 


I went on my journey, it was with a seatful of candy, magazines, 
books, flowers, everything that the community afforded for a 
going-away present. I never had been before nor have been since 
so much the prima donna. 

But all this was preliminary to the real task of finding out 
what was happening in Kansas, outside of the production of oil. 
The legislation already passed was intended to make the Stand- 
ard Oil Company the servant of the state. But I had long ago 
learned it was one thing to pass laws and another thing to en- 
force and administer them. How were they getting on? 

I went first to see the governor E. W. Hoch a humorless 
and honest man. It was he who had sponsored the state refinery. 
I found him impressed by what he had done, but a little doubtful 
about how things were going to come out. He was opening his 
mail when I went in and he showed me letters nominating him 
for the Presidency. He had been receiving many of them, he said. 
It was obvious they came from radical socialists rejoicing over 
the encouragement that he was giving to the public ownership of 
industry. He liked the applause but did not like the source. He 
was no socialist, he protested to me. He was a firm believer in 
the competitive system. The state refinery was a "measuring 

He had wanted to settle definitely just what the profits of the 
refinery business in Kansas were. Nobody knew except experts, 
and they wouldn't tell. A first-class oil refinery would settle for 
all time the cost of refining Kansas oil and force the sale at a rea- 
sonable price. He was not trying to drive private industry out of 
the state. He merely wanted to force private industry to be rea- 
sonable the private industry being of course the Standard Oil 

Governor Hoch and the state as a whole were soon feeling the 
effect of the letdown which always follows an exciting legislative 
campaign, particularly for the winner. Not since the early nine- 
ties had Kansas enjoyed so rousing a time. And now it was over 


and they had to come down to business. But could they get down 
to business? Could they administer the new laws? Meetings were 
being held, half in jubilation over the successful legislation, half 
in anxiety about the next step. I was asked to come and speak 
at one of them. 

I was no speaker, but I could not let them down. Moreover, 
because of my familiarity with past exciting experiments on the 
part of indignant oil independents I realized better than they 
did, so I thought, the hard pull they had before them. 

"Your problem now," I told them, "is to do business. As far 
as laws can insure it you have free opportunity; but good laws 
and free opportunity alone do not build up a business. Unless 
you can be as efficient and as patient, as farseeing as your great 
competitor laws or no laws, you will not succeed. You must 
make yourselves as good refiners, as good transporters, as good 
marketers, as ingenious, as informed, as imaginative in your 
legitimate undertakings as they are in both their legitimate and 

My speech was not popular. What they wanted from me was 
a rousing attack on the Standard Oil Company. They wanted 
a Mary Lease to tell them to go on raising hell, and here I was 
telling them they had got all they could by raising hell and now 
they must settle down to doing business. 

"You have gone over to the Standard Oil Company?" said one 
disgusted Populist. 

I saw I had ruined my reputation as the Joan of Arc of the 
oil industry, as some one had named me. But there were hard- 
headed independent legislators and business men in the state who 
consoled me, "You are right, we must learn to do business as well 
as they do." 

One immediate national effect of the Kansas disturbance was 
to arouse the legislatures of other oil-producing states in the 
Southwest to enact laws not unlike those of Kansas, though I do 
not remember that a state refinery was sponsored anywhere else. 


There was a wide demand that Congress place the pipe-line sys- 
tem under the Interstate Commerce Commission, subject it to the 
same restrictions as interstate rails, but most important was the 
fine popular backing the row gave the trust-busting campaign 
of Theodore Roosevelt, now President of the United States. He 
had begun his attack on big business by putting an end to the 
first great holding company the country had seen the Northern 
Securities Company. He had followed this by a bill establishing 
a department for which people had been asking for a decade or 
more, that of Commerce and Labor, including a Bureau of Cor- 
porations with power to examine books and question personnel. 
Congress at first shied at the measure, but Mr. Roosevelt thun- 
dered, "If you do not pass it this session I will call an extra ses- 
sion." And they knew he would. 

Ironically enough it was the Standard itself that broke the 
reluctance of Congress. The proposal had shocked it out of its 
usual discretion. There never was an organization in the country 
which held secrecy more essential to doing business. Breaking 
down the walls behind which it operated was not to be tolerated. 
It seems to have been the peppery John Archbold who took 
charge of the fight against the bill, using all the political influ- 
ence of the company, which was considerable at that moment. 

Roosevelt soon learned something of what was going on it is 
not certain how much ; and when he saw his measure in danger he 
gave out the statement that John D. Rockefeller had wired his 
friends in the Senate, "We are opposed to any antitrust legis- 
lation it must be stopped." 

The last thing in the world that John D. Rockefeller would 
have done was to send such a telegram to anybody. Probably 
Mr. Roosevelt knew that; but somebody in the Standard was 
passing on such a word, and Mr. Rockefeller was the responsible 
head of the organization. His name did the work. Congress 
passed the bill in a hurry. The Bureau of Corporations was 
speedily set up, an excellent man at its head James Garfield. 

The first task assigned it by the President was an investigation 
of the petroleum industry. 

This investigation reported in 1906 that the Standard Oil Com- 
pany was receiving preferential rates from various railroads and 
had been for some time. One of the most spectacular business 
suits the country had seen up to that time followed. The Stand- 
ard was found guilty by Judge Kenesaw Landis, the present 
arbitrator of the manners and morals of national baseball, and 
a punishment long known as the "Big Fine" twenty-nine million 
dollars inflicted. The country gasped at the size of the fine, 
but not so the Bureau of Corporations. My correspondent there 
contended that over eight thousand true indictments had been 
found, and that the maximum penalty would have amounted to 
over a hundred and sixty million dollars ! 

But even the twenty-nine million dollars, so modest in the view 
of the Bureau of Corporations, was not allowed to stand, for in 
1908 Judge Peter Grosscup of the Circuit Court of Appeals in 
Illinois upset it. Roosevelt was angry. "There is too much power 
in the bench," he told his friends. 

But by this time the Government had under way another and 
a much more serious line of attack, from which Roosevelt was 
hoping substantial results. Back in 1890 the Congress had en- 
acted what was known as the Sherman Antitrust Law, a law mak- 
ing illegal every contract and combination restraining trade and 
fostering monopoly. The Government was now seeking to apply 
this law to the Standard Oil Company. Was it not the first in- 
dustry to attempt monopoly? Had it not been the model for all 
the brood? 

Such a suit was no new idea. Independent oilmen had long 
talked of it, and in 1897 they had been ready to go ahead when 
at the last moment the lawyer to whom they had entrusted their 
case was taken suddenly ill and died. It must have seemed to the 
energetic Lewis Emery, Jr., who had been engineering the attack 
that the Lord himself had "gone over to the Standard." 


Ten years went by, and then in September, 1907 5 the United 
States of America began suit against the Standard Oil Company 
of New York et al. There were months and months of hearings. 
If I had been a modern newspaper woman I could have made 
a good killing out of that long investigation, for more than one 
editor asked me to analyze the testimony as it came along or 
give my impressions of the gentlemen who appeared on the wit- 
ness stand. But I had no stomach for it; I never attended a 
public examination though I of course read the published testi- 
mony with care. 

I knew well enough that the time would come when, if I did 
my duty as a historian^ I must analyze the suit ; but that must 
be after it was ended and a sufficiently practical test had been 
made of the decision. It would be a long time, I told myself, be- 
fore I should be obliged to take up the story where I had left it. 



TWELVE years had gone by since I tied myself, temporarily as 
I thought, to the McClure venture. To my surprise, the longer 
I was with the enterprise the more strongly I felt it was giving 
me the freedom I wanted, as well as a degree of that security 
which makes freedom so much easier a load to carry. Here was 
a group of people I could work with, without sacrifice or irri- 
tation. Here was a healthy growing undertaking which excited 
me, while it seemed to offer endless opportunity to contribute to 
the better thinking of the country. The future looked fair and 

And then without warning the apparently solid creation was 
shattered and I found myself sitting on its ruins. 

Looking back now, I know that the split in the McClure staff 
in 1906 was inevitable. Neither Mr. McClure nor Mr. Phillips, 
the two essential factors in the creation, could have done other 
than he did. The points at issue were fundamental. Each man 
acted according to an inner something which made him what he 
was, something he could not violate. 

Back of the difficulty lay the fact that at this time Mr. Mc- 
Clure was a sick man. The hardships of his youth and early 
manhood, the intense pressure he had put on himself in founding 
his enterprises had exhausted him. For several years he had been 
obliged to take long vacations, usually in Europe with his family, 
his staff carrying on his work in his absence. The enterprises 
were bringing him larger and larger returns and more and more 
honor ; but that was not what he most wanted. He wanted to be 
in the thick of things, feel himself an active factor in what was 



doing. Above all he wanted to add to what he had already 
achieved, to build a bigger, a more imposing House of Mc- 

"What he wanted was more money, 55 I have heard men com- 

They were wrong. I have never known a man freer from the 
itch for money as an end than S. S. McClure. Money for him 
meant power to do things, to build, to help others. On his way 
up he had gathered about him a horde of dependents with whom 
he was always ready to share his last dollar. He was reckless 
with money as with ideas. 

In these years when he was practically living in Europe, 
though returning regularly to the United States, his chief in- 
terest was not in what his enterprises were accomplishing, but 
in adding something bigger than they were or could be. Only by 
doing this could he prove to himself and to his colleagues that he 
was a stronger and more productive man than ever. Nothing 
else would satisfy him. 

His passion to build, to realize his ambitions, made him care- 
less about laying foundations. What he did usually had the 
character of improvisation, frequently on a grand scale, some- 
times merely gay spurts of fancy. I was myself caught in one of 
the latter when Mr. McClure in London suddenly ordered me in 
Paris to drop whatever I was doing and to hurry into Germany 
to collect material for an animal magazine. 

Animals were an -abiding interest with McClure's. Rudyard 
Kipling laid the foundation in the Jungle tales. After that great 
series few were the numbers that did not have an animal in text 
and picture. It was as much a passion as baseball was to become 
in the latter days with The American Magazine. 

I spent a lively month visiting zoos, interviewing animal train- 
ers and hunters and keepers, buying books and photographs, 
turning in what I considered a pretty good grist of materials and 
suggestions. What became of it, I never knew, for I never heard 


a word of it after I came back to America. The only remnant I 
have now of that month is a powder box of Dresden china bought 
at the showrooms of the factory of the crossed swords, it being 
my practice when on professional trips to use my leisure seeing 
the town, guidebook in hand, and buying all the souvenirs my 
purse permitted. 

It was in 1906 that Mr. McClure brought home from one of 
his foraging expeditions the plan which was eventually to wreck 
his enterprises. He had it cut and dried ready to put into action. 
Without consultation with his partners he had organized a new 
company, the charter of which provided not only for a McClure *s 
Universal Journal, but a McClure's Bank, a McClure's Life In- 
surance Company, a McClure's School Book Publishing Com- 
pany, and later a McClure's Ideal Settlement in which people 
could have cheap homes on their own terms. It undertook to com- 
bine with a cheap magazine which it goes without saying was 
to have an enormous circulation with the enormous advertising 
which circulation brings an attempt to solve some of the great 
abuses of the day, abuses at which we had been hammering in 
McClure's Magazine. He proposed to do this by giving them a 
competition which would draw their teeth. 

By the time Mr. McClure got around to explaining his plan 
to me and asking my cooperation he had worked himself up to 
regarding it as an inspiration which must not be questioned. 
It seemed to me to possess him like a religious vision which it 
was blasphemy to question. Obsessed as he was, he was blind and 
deaf to the obstacles in the way. I am sure I hurt Mr. McClure 
by telling him bluntly and at once that I would never have any- 
thing to do with such a scheme. 

In a recently published letter Lincoln Steffens tells how he 
saw Mr. McClure's plan. To him it was not only "fool" but "not 
quite right." Certainly it was not right. As organized, it was a 
speculative scheme as alike as two peas to certain organizations 
the magazine had been battering. 


The tragedy of the situation was that Mr. McClure did not 
see and could not understand the arguments of his associates 
that his plan was not only impossible but wrong. This failure 
of judgment was, I am convinced, due to his long illness. The 
mental and physical exhaustion from which he was suffering, 
and which he could not bring himself to understand or accept, 
explains the unwisdom of this undertaking, his contention that 
it was an inspiration, his stubbornness in insisting that it be 
accepted and set to work. Human reason has little influence on 
one who believes he is inspired. 

The members of the staff were little more than outsiders when 
it came to the final decision. It was up to John Phillips to accept 
and do his utmost to aid in the grandiose adventure or patiently 
to wait while persuading the General that it was not the mission 
of the McClure crowd to reconstruct the economic life of the 
country, that we were journalists, not financial reformers. I think 
no man ever tried harder to keep another from a suicidal under- 
taking; and certainly no man could have been firmer from the 
start in his refusal to go along. 

The struggle went on for six months, and no two men ever 
tried more honestly to adjust their differences; but they were 
irreconcilable. It came to a point where one or the other must 
sell his interest in the magazine. It was Mr. McClure who bought 
out his partner. 

Although McClure^s Magazine is no longer on the newsstands, 
it does occupy a permanent place in the history of the period that 
it served, because it worked itself into the literary and economic 
life of the country. 

It was a magazine which from the first put quality above every- 
thing else and was willing to chase checks around town in order to 
pay for it. For those who collect Kipling there are the first publi- 
cations of many of his rarest poems, short stories, and such dis- 
tinguished serials as "Captains Courageous" and "Kim." Here 
first appeared Willa Gather and 0. Henry. 


It was a magazine which backed regardless of expense, one 
might say, the investigations and reports of men like Ray Stan- 
nard Baker and Lincoln Steffens. For twelve years it encouraged 
with liberality and patience the work of which I have been talking 
in this narrative. 

Mr. McClure had two editorial policies when it came to getting 
the thing he felt was important for the Magazine. First, the 
writer must be well paid and the expense money be generous. Sec- 
ond, and most important of all, he must be given time. He did 
not ask that you produce a great serial in six months. He gave 
you years if it was necessary. I spent the greater part of five 
years on "The History of the Standard Oil Company." I was 
what was called a contributing editor ; that is, I turned in sugges- 
tions as they came to me in my work around the country. I did 
occasional extra articles that seemed to be in my line. I read and 
took part in editorial counsels, but it was recognized that all the 
time I demanded should be given to the serial. I know of no other 
editor and no other publisher who has so fully recognized the 
necessity of generous pay and ample time, if he were to get from 
a staff work done according to the best editorial standard, and 
worthy of the magazine and the writer. 

When it was finally decided that Mr. Phillips was to sever his 
long relation to McClure's several members of the editorial staff 
resigned, including Ray Stannard Baker, Lincoln Steffens, John 
Siddall, the efficient young managing editor Albert Boyden, and 
myself. We could not see the magazine without Mr. Phillips. 

The last day we left the office, then on Twenty-third Street 
near Fourth Avenue, some of us went together to Madison Square 
and sat on a bench talking over our future. We were derelicts 
without a job. 

But not for long. 

There was then in New York, though it was not generally 
known, a magazine group which wanted a change. The maga- 
zine was very old long known as Frank Leslie's Illustrated 

First year of The American Magazine, 1907 


Monthly, recently changed to TJie American Magazine. Its owner 
was Frederick L. Colver; Its editor, Ellery Sedgwick (afterward 
editor of the Atlantic) ; its publisher, William Morrow (after- 
ward the founder of William Morrow & Company, the book pub- 
lishing house) . Mr, Colver approached Mr. Phillips : "Why don't 
you take it over?" 

Finally in council assembled, our editorial group together with 
David A. McKinlay and John Trainor of the McClure business 
department, decided to incorporate the Phillips Publishing Com- 
pany and buy The American Magazine. With what we could 
put in ourselves and money from the sale of stock to interested 
friends, we secured funds for the purchase and sufficient working 

We left McClure 9 s in March: six months later, October, 1906, 
appeared our first issue. The announcement shows how seriously 
we took ourselves, as befitted people who had seen something in 
which they deeply believed go to pieces. We had been too cruelly 
bruised to take anything lightly, but luckily we were able to 
make two additions to our staff, each man with a vein of humor 
not to be dried up or muddled by any cataclysms William Allen 
White and Finley Peter Dunne (Mr. Dooley). 

We had known Mr. White in the McClwre's office since the day 
of his famous editorial, "What's the Matter with Kansas?" After 
that came his Boyville stories, two or three of which McClure's 
published, and then at intervals studies of political situations 
and political figures. It was not long before he began to come 
to New York. He was a little city-shy then, or wanted us to think 
so. As I was one of the official entertainers of the group, it occa- 
sionally fell to me to "take him by the hand," as he put it, and 
show him the town. I could have hardly had a more delightful 
experience. He judged New York by Kansas standards, and 
New York usually suffered. His affection and loyalty for his 
state, his appreciation and understanding of everything that she 
and foolish the incomparable journalistic style in 


which he presents her are what has made him so valuable a na- 
tional citizen. His crowning achievement among the many to be 
credited to him has been remaining first, last, and always the edi- 
tor of the Emporia Gazette. A staunch friendship had sprung 
up between Mr. White and Mr. Phillips, and it was natural 
enough that he interested himself in the new venture. 

As for Peter Dunne, we went after him and rather to my sur- 
prise he came along, taking a desk in our cramped offices and 
appearing with amazing regularity. At this time he was some 
forty years old the greatest satirist in my judgment the coun- 
try has yet produced. He had a wide knowledge of men and their 
ways. There was no malice in his judgments, but a great con- 
tempt for humbuggery as well as for all forms of self-deception 
devoted to uplifting the world. However, he felt kindly towards 
our ardent desire to improve things by demonstrating their un- 
soundness and approved our unwillingness to use any other tools 
than those which belonged legitimately to our profession. He 
came out strongest in his contributions to the department of edi- 
torial comment, which Mr. Phillips had introduced under the 
head of "The Interpreter's House." We were all supposed to 
contribute whatever was on our minds to this department. Mr. 
Phillips and Mr. Dunne did the censoring and dovetailing. I did 
not often make "The Interpreter's House," much to my chagrin. 
Dunne said, "You sputter like a woman," which I fear was true. 
If it had not been for him the first Christmas issue of "The In- 
terpreter's House" would have been bleak reading. We had each 
of us broken forth in lament for the particular evil of the world 
which was disturbing us, offering our remedies. 

It seems to me [wrote Dunne, editing our contributions] that 
we are serving up a savory Christmas number ... a nice present 
to be found in the bottom of a stocking . . . 

You cannot go to the Patent Office in Washington and take 
out a patent that will transform men into angels. The way up- 
ward, long and tedious as it is, lies through the hearts of men. 


It has been so since the founding of the Feast. Nothing has been 
proved more clearly in the political history of the race than this, 
that good will to men has done more to improve government than 
laws and wars. 

. . . Let us close down our desks for the year. If you want to 
find me for another week I will be found in the wonderful little 
toy shop around the corner. 

That editorial broke the tension which had made me think this 
was no time to go home for Christmas. I went. 

Peter Dunne hated the pains of writing. His labor affected the 
whole office sympathy with what he was going through, fear 
that his copy would not be in on time, eagerness to see it when it 
came, to know if it was "one of his best." But Peter's work was 
never what he thought it ought to be, and he sought forgetful- 

Indispensable on the new editorial staff, seeing Peter through 
his birth pains, keeping the rest of us at our tasks, nursing new 
writers, making up the magazine, was Albert Boyden. He had 
come fresh from Harvard to McClure's and had at once made 
himself a place by his genius for keeping things going and his 
gift for sympathetic friendliness. It was a combination which 
became more valuable and irresistible as time went on. Bert was 
everybody's friend, whether editor, artist, or writer. "One can 
have friends, one can have editors," Ray Stannard Baker was to 
write later, "but Bert was both." 

He was of the greatest value to the American in bringing to- 
gether writers and artists who were attaching themselves to the 
new magazine. Bert was so fond of us all that he could not endure 
the idea that we did not all know one another, and he made it his 
business to see that we had at least the opportunity. He lived on 
the south of Stuyvesant Square, four flights up. There was no 
one in all that circle of distinguished contributors who did not 
welcome the chance to climb those stairs to Bert's dinners and 
teas. And what a group of people came! They are recorded in his 


guest book: Booth Tarkington, Edna Ferber, Stewart Edward 
White, his wife and his brother Gilbert, Julian and Ada Street, 
the Norrises, the Rices and Martins of Louisville, Joe Chase, 
Will Irwin, and a dozen more, along with visiting celebrities, 
politicians, scientists, adventurers. What talk went on in that 
high-up living room! What wonderful tales we heard! 

Bert was so much younger than the rest of us, so full of en- 
thusiasm and hope, so much more vital and all-shedding, that it 
is still to me incredible that he should have left this world so 
much earlier than I. He died in 1925, but he lives in a little 
book which J. S. P. edited in his memory. How proud Bert would 
have been of that ! "There is nobody like J. S. P.,' 3 he used to say. 
Many of his big circle of friends contributed their recollections 
of him. I have never known another person in my life for whom 
quite such a book could have been written. 

In spite of the gay unity of our group, the vigor and steadi- 
ness with which it began and continued its operation, I had suf- 
fered a heavy shock. I know now I should not have taken it as 
well as I did (and inwardly that was nothing to boast of) if it 
had not been cushioned by an engrossing personal interest. I had 
started out to make a home for myself. 

I had already made three major attempts to establish myself 
first in Meadville, then in Paris, then in Washington and all 
had failed. When in 1898 it became evident that if I were to re- 
main on the McClure's staff I must come to New York, I was in 
no mood to adopt a new home town. New York might be my 
writing headquarters, but Titusville should be home. Finally I 
would return there, I told myself. But Titusville was five hun- 
dred miles away. There were no airplanes in those days. The rail- 
road journey was tedious and expensive, week-ending was 
impossible. I soon grew weary of the week-end makeshifts of a 
homeless person in a city. I wanted something of my own. And at 
last by a series of circumstances, purely fortuitous, I acquired 
forty acres and a little old house in Connecticut. 


I had meant to let the land and the house run to seed if they 
wanted to. I had no stomach, or money, for a "place." I wanted 
something of my very own with no cares. Idle dream in a world 
busy in adding artificial cares to the load Nature lays on our 

Things happened : the roof leaked ; the grass must be cut if I 
was to have a comfortable sward to sit on; water in the house 
was imperative. And what I had not reckoned with came from all 
the corners of my land : incessant calls fields calling to be rid of 
underbrush and weeds and turned to their proper work; a gar- 
den spot calling for a chance to show what it could do; apple 
trees begging to be trimmed and sprayed. I had bought an aban- 
doned farm, and it cried loud to go about its business. 

Why should I not answer the cry? Why should I not be a 
farmer? Before I knew it I was at least going through the mo- 
tions, having fields plowed, putting in crops, planting an orchard, 
supporting horses, a cow, a pig, a poultry yard giving up a 
new evening gown to buy fertilizer! 

Seeing what I was in for and fearing lest I should do as so 
many of my friends had done go in deeper than my income jus- 
tified, find myself borrowing and mortgaging in order to carry 
out the fascinating things I saw to do I laid down a strict rule 
which I have followed ever since, and which I recommend to peo- 
ple of limited incomes who acquire a spot in the country, and 
want it to be a continuous pleasure instead of a continuous 
anxiety. I resolved that I would spend only what I could lay 
aside from income, that I would divide this appropriation into 
three parts one for the land, one for the house, one for furnish- 
ing. As the budget was very small it meant that a thousand things 
that I wanted to do went undone, and still are undone. But it 
meant also that I had little or no financial anxiety. 

If the call of the land had been unexpected and not to be de- 
nied, even more unexpected and still less to be denied was the 
call of the neighborhood. I was not long in learning that in the 


houses I could see in valley and on hillside centered the most 
genuine of human dramas, tragic and comic. 

After the land and its background, the greatest gift of God 
to us ("us" including my niece Esther) was our nearest neigh- 
bors Mr. and Mrs. G. Burr Tucker, at the side of whose house 
swung a sign, "Antiques for Sale." 

But it was as neighbors, not as customers Mr. and Mrs. Tucker 
regarded us from the start. When Burr was not over helping us 
settle he was watching what was going on from his front porch. 
I have never had more pungent, salty, faithful friends. They 
had spent most of their lives on the corner, not always selling 
antiques. Mrs. Tucker had taught in the schoolhouse at the top 
of the hiU for twenty-nine years, and Burr had had a varied and 
picturesque career as a salesman of pumps, fruit trees, any 
gadget that seemed to be useful to his country neighbors. 

Not long before we moved in he had discovered by accident 
that there were people in the outside world who bought old spin- 
ning wheels, ancient chairs, ancient pottery. Burr knew the con- 
tents of every garret and woodshed for twenty miles around, and 
when he made his discovery he began systematically to buy them 
out. By the time I arrived on the scene he had an established 

Not knowing whether we were going to like our new acquisition 
well enough to make it permanent, Esther and I had decided to 
furnish out of a department store basement. But in looking over 
Burr's miscellaneous assortment my eye fell on an old-fashioned 
melodeon, charming in line, its bellows broken but easy to re- 
pair $10. I couldn't resist it, and so I became almost from the 
first day a customer of my nearest neighbor. It was a great day 
when Burr went "teeking," as they called the hunt for treasures. 
We would watch for his return, and when his white horse and 
wagon loaded high with loot appeared down the road we were 
on the ground as soon as he was. 

Not only did the immediate vicinity yield rich and exciting 


material, but a little distance away there were people from the 
world we knew. There were the friends who had first shown me 
the country Noble and Ella Hoggson, up the Valley, the cen- 
ter of a jolly and interesting group known as the "Valley Crowd. 55 
A mile or so away was one of the most interesting women in the 
literary world of that day Jeannette Gilder, sister of Richard 
Watson Gilder, a lively writer and editor. 

Perhaps no woman in her time carried to more perfection the 
then feminine vogue for severe masculine dress : stout shoes, short 
skirt, mannish jacket, shirt, tie, hat, stick. They were the last 
word in style. They suited her as they did few, for she was large 
of frame, with strong, bold features and a fine swinging gait ; but 
the masculinity was all on the surface. Esther came home one day 
shouting with laughter: "Miss Gilder is a fake. She wears silk 
petticoats and is afraid of mice. 55 

Soon after I acquired my farm the countryside was stirred 
by the news that Mark Twain was building only eight or nine 
miles away from us. Everybody seemed to know what was hap- 
pening with the building, the settling, the life going on. That 
was partly because of our omnivorous curiosity and partly be- 
cause Mark Twain was a friendly neighbor. He every now and 
then gave a great party, sending the invitations around by our 
peripatetic butcher, a member of one of our first families, a gen- 
tleman as well as a good tradesman. 

I have a few treasured recollections of days when Jeannette 
Gilder and I drove over to tea or lunch with Mark Twain, heard 
great stories of the doings in his new home. It was from him 
that I heard the story of the famous burglary ; it was from him 
I heard the story of one of the best practical jokes ever played 
when Peter Dunne and Robert Collier sent him an elephant. 

Not only was all this fun and excitement and novelty shared 
by my niece and those of my family who came to see what we 
were so excited about, but every member of the American staff 
sooner or later appeared at the farm to look us over. From the 


start our chief counselor had been Bert Boyden, who six months 
after I had taken the first option on the place had insisted on 
accompanying me to see whether I had better take it up. 

Bert looked at the oaks, he looked at the gay little stream 
that ran across the land, and without hesitation said, "Buy it." 
And buy it, I did. Having had a part in the purchase, Bert 
superintended henceforth all changes. He approved my plan of 
budgeting. He helped me select the wallpapers which were hung ; 
he was interested in the larder for the winter. 

In the summer when his family was at a distance J. S. P. came 
often to discuss the perplexities of the magazine and rest him- 
self from the commotion of the office. The Norriscs came, and 
Kathleen named my pig. Who but Kathleen would have called 
him "Juicy"? He looked it, fat as butter. The Siddalls came 
often, for in the summer we kept their famous cat, "Sammy Sid- 
dall." The Rices, the Martins, the Bakers all came to look on 
that rough land and shell of a house and wonder, 1 suspect, how 
I could be happy with anything so simple, be satisfied with no 
more pretentious plans than I had. 

Among those who came in those early days was one who has 
left a crimson streak across the history of his time- Jack Heed. 
Jack, just out of Harvard, was giving half-time to the American, 
half-time to writing. We would invite him for the week end but 
he was never at the station when we drove over to find him. Likely 
he had missed his train, taken a freight that was more fun. 
And late in the evening he would come walking over the hilltop 
demanding food and a bed, and we would sit long hearing the 
adventures of his day. 

It was on one of these trips that Jack found near by a natural 
amphitheater. Before he had left he had planned to buy the place 
and worked out in detail a Greek theater. He started toward?* 
New York on foot, expecting to raise the money from f ricnclt) 
en route. **I was all ready to put up money," one of them told me 
not many years ago. 

Fnnn l.uniitn* uttttiehrome by Arnold (tfnttn*, N, K 

/I/m Tnrhcll hi her </ardeu< tit her Connecticut farm, lOUf, 


But when Jack was back at his desk in New York he forgot 
the theater I never heard of it afterwards. That was the de- 
lightful creature Jack Reed was, up to the time that he discov- 
ered what is called life. He took it hard. Now his bones lie under 
a tomb in Moscow, one of the martyrs to Lenin's great vision 
of the communal life. 

All this was good for me, cushioned the shock I had suffered, 
convinced me that at least I had gotten my hands on something 
permanent, a fundamental factor in my future security a home 
a home capable of feeding me if the worst came to the worst. 
But while it was good for me it was not so good for my work on 
the magazine. 

I had believed I could work better in the quiet of the country, 
but I was discovering that the country was more exciting than 
the town and the oflice as I knew it. Its attractions were proving 
too much for the difficult task which had been assigned me in the 
planning for the first year of the American. The task was noth- 
ing less than to write a history of the making of our tariff sched- 
ules from the Civil War on. It had been a natural enough selec- 
tion for me after the experience with the history of the Standard 
Oil Company for the tariff was quite as much a matter of popular 
concern at the moment as the trust had been in 1900. There was 
a growing demand for revision. ITow could we get into the fight? 
A subject; must be found for me. How about the tariff? Was a 
historical treatment possible? I thought so; at least I so despised 
the prohibitive tariff thai; I was willing to try if the magazine was 
willing" 'to buck me. 

I suppose most of us have had at various periods of our life 
homemade remedies for the economic ills we see about us. When 
I was a girl in high school I looked on an eight-hour day of 
productive labor for everybody as the way out, I was much less 
worried by the 'hardships the long day brought working people 
than the mental and moral deterioration I imagined suffered by 
people who did not work. Idleness, not labor, was the scourge 


of the world. For me the eight-hour day was a save-the-idle day ! 

Before I left The Chautauquan I had concluded that there was 
a trilogy of wrongs all curable responsible for our repeated 
depressions and our poorly distributed wealth: discrimination in 
transportation ; tariffs save for revenue only ; private ownership 
of natural resources. I was still of that opinion when, largely by 
accident, I had my chance to strike at number one in my trilogy. 
Could I by the method I had followed in that case, and the only 
one I knew how to use, present a plausible argument against 
Number Two? 

What had particularly aroused me was the way tariff sched- 
ules were made, the strength of what we now call pressure groups 
the powerful lobbies in wool and cotton and iron and sugar 
which for twenty-five years I had watched mowing Congress 
down like a high wind. There was no concealment of the pressure. 
The lobbyists went at it hammer and tongs and battered down 
opposition with threats, bribes, and unparalleled arrogance. By 
these tactics they had overcome Mr. Cleveland's famous tariff 
message of 1886, had passed the outrageous McKinloy bill of 
1890, had ruined the Wilson bill of 1893, had defeated the prom- 
ise of McKinley and Dingley and Aldricli to lower duties in 1896, 
and had substituted the highest and most distorted schedules the 
country had yet seen. But it looked in 1906 as if the Day of 
Judgment was near, and I asked nothing better than to be on 
the jury. 

I went into it blindly on faith, certainly not on knowledge 
and I had a handicap that I was far from realising at the time: 
that was that, while in the case of the Standard Oil I had spent 
my life close to the events, the tariff and its makers had never 
touched my life. This was something that I had read in a book. 

Another handicap was that my indignation was directed 
towards legal acts. Congress had adopted these schedules, under 
coercion if you please, but still it had adopted them. Tine bene- 
ficiaries had the sanction of law. It was a different case from 


challenging railroad discriminations, which were forbidden by 

As I worked on the Congressional Record and related docu- 
ments I looked up men still living who had had a part in the 
struggle on one side or the other. There were many of them scat- 
tered around the country, now out of Congress for the most part, 
but not averse to talking. As a rule I got little from them. The 
fight which seemed to me so important was a dead issue to them. 
They had lost or won. It was all part of a game. Fresh from 
reading the daily discussions in the Record, curious about this or 
that man or argument, I found them ha^y, often not particularly 
interested. There was little of the righteous indignation which 
I thought I found in their recorded speeches. Had that been 
political, instead of righteous, indignation? I began to think so. 

It was (Irover Cleveland who put heart in me. He had lost 
none of his righteous indignation over the aid prohibitive tariffs 
were giving certain trusts, none of his alarm over the growing dis- 
parity between industry and agriculture they were fostering. He 
felt deeply the wrong of the prices they were inflicting on the 
farmer, the professional class, the poor. I got nothing but en- 
couragement from him for the review I had planned. 

Luckily I already had a pleasant working relation with Mr. 
Cleveland. It had come about in my last two years on McClure\<s, 
when my chief editorial task bad been trying to persuade him 
that it was his duty to write his reminiscences for us, incidentally 
offering myself as a ghost if he felt that he needed one. 

As his letters to me at this time show he was not entirely un- 
friendly to the project: 

I want to do the thing ; and yet I am afraid the difficulties in 
the way of doing it are fundamental and inexorable. You see the 
project requires me to exploit myself and my doings before the 
public. I do not see how I can <lo this,, though I am terribly vain 
and often bore my friends privately by tiresome reminiscence. 
And yet I cannot but think that there are incidents and results 


in my career, which by their narration might be of service in 
stimulating those who aspire to good citizenship "and there we 
are." This latter consideration hints of duty ; but then comes the 
fear that what seems to me duty is a mere fantastic notion, and 
thereupon the old disinclination resumes its sway. 

I have frequently thought no one could help me so much as 
you; and it has seemed to me more than once that you and I 
might possibly "cook up something" in a summer vacation's 
freedom from distractions. 

Nothing came at this time, 1904, of the "Tarbell-Cleveland 
fantasy," as Mr. Cleveland gaily dubbed it, and two years later 
the project was dismissed, but in a letter so friendly that I cannot 
resist quoting from it: 

I do not believe a man who has turned the corner of sixty-nine 
years, is any less vain and self-satisfied than when he was a youth. 
At any rate here I am, in this sixty-nine predicament, delighted 
with the generous things you say of me in the goodness of your 
heart, and more than halfway deluding myself into the notion 
that I deserve them. I want to be very sensible and hard-headed 
in this affair; but in any event I am entitled to rejoice in your 
good opinion of me, and your hearty wishes for my welfare and 

I thank you from the bottom of my heart for them; and I 
shall gratefully remember them as long as I live. Somehow I have 
an idea that you know me well and surely 1 need not afflict 
myself with the fear of vanity if I have found a friend in you. 

With those letters in my files T felt free, when I undertook the 

tariff work for the American,, to ask Mr, Cleveland to talk to 
me about the making of his tariff message in 1886, and the fail- 
ure of the Wilson bill in 1893. lie was most generous, and when 
I had completed my story of the two episodes T asked him to 
read the manuscript and give me a candid judgment and of 
course his corrections and his suggestions. The chief suggestion 
that he made showed a sensitiveness to his literary style in public 


documents which I had not suspected. Charming letter writer 
as Mr. Cleveland was, in his public documents he was ponderous. 
I must have enlarged a little on this, for I find this paragraph in 
his letter with which he sent back the proofs : 

I have ventured to suggest a little toning down of your char- 
acterization of my style thinking perhaps you would be willing 
to make an alteration to please me if for no other reason. You 
know we are all a little sensitive on such a point. 

There was another paragraph in that letter which touched 
me deeply: 

Your article has caused me to feel again the greatest sorrow 
and disappointment I have ever suffered in my public career 
the failure of my party to discharge its most important duty 
and its fatuous departure from its appointed mission. 

But lean as heavily as I dared on Mr. Cleveland, work as I 
would and did on the tariff debates of Congress (I can wish my 
worst enemy no greater punishment than reading them in full) , 
I could not put vitality into my narrative. It was of the Congres- 
sional Record it was secondhand. 

It was the making of the Payne-Aldrich bill in 1909 that 
finally gave a certain life to my narrative. Here was something 
belonging* to the present, not something of the past. By all the 
signs Theodore Roosevelt should have been the St. George to 
lead in the revision the public was calling so loudly for, par- 
ticularly after the panic of 1907. Few of his party leaders paid 

"Are not all our fellows happy?" Speaker Joseph Cannon 
asked as the demand for revision became louder. 

Roosevelt himself heard it, but frankly said to bis intimates 
that lie did not know anything about the tariff. He did not and 
he would not take the time to learn. He hammered at the effects 


of privilege, pursued "malefactors of great wealth/ 9 but was 
not willing to do the hard studying of the causes which pro- 
duced the malefactors. 

Mr. Taft, who followed Roosevelt, had no choice. The plat- 
form on which he was elected called "unequivocally" for tariff 
reform, and as soon as he was inaugurated he called a special 
session to do the work. My chagrin was great when I realized 
at once that all the ancient technique I had been trying to dis- 
credit was repeating itself. It is, I told myself, the same old 
circus, the same old gilded chariots, the same old clowns. So far 
as arguments were concerned they might have been taken from 
the hearings of '83, of 5 88, of '93, of '96. Figures were changed, 
and nobody could deny that these figures of growth were impres- 
sive; but they came from interested men. 

"They are incapable of judging," Mr. Carnegie told the com- 
mittee. "No judge should be permitted to sit in a cause in which 
he is interested; you make the greatest mistake in your life if 
you attach importance to an interested witness." 

The process which "Sunset" Cox back in the seventies char- 
acterized as "reciprocal rapine" buying votes for the schedule 
their constituents wanted by voting for schedules they could not 
justify was in full swing. 

Never was the tariff as the "cause of prosperity" worked 
harder. It was the answer of the prohibitive protectionist to the 
charge that the tariff was a tax. In all the early years they had 
called it so a tax to produce revenue, encourage new indus- 
tries, protect higher wages, a better standard of living. But Mr. 
Cleveland had called it boldly "a vicious, inequitable, illogical 
tax," and illustrated his adjectives tellingly. The effect of his at- 
tack was so disastrous that the supporters of prohibitive duties 
went into a huddle to find a new name, "The cause of prosper- 
ity" was the euphemism they produced- 

A repeater that had figured ia every tariff bill wan the answer 
of the priests of the dogma to the argument that the poor should 


be considered. According to the pictures they drew there were 
no poor in the United States. This refusal to recognize poverty 
was no more discouraging in the making of the bill of 1909 than 
the indifference to the effect high tariffs were having on the cost 
of the necessities of life. In this they ran true to historical prece- 
dent. From the time the business man took charge in the late 
seventies any attempt to call the attention at hearings to what 
a duty would do to the price of a necessity of life was ignored 
or jeered. 

Justice Brandeis, then plain lawyer Brandeis, was before a 
committee considering the Dinglcy bill. 

"And for whom do you appear?" he was asked. 

"For the consumer/' he answered. 

The committee, chairman and all, laughed aloud, but they 
were good enough to say, "Oh, let him run down." 

This old indifference to the effect of higher prices on the living 
of the poor stirred me to the only article in my series which 
seemed to "take hold." I called it, "Where Every Penny Counts." 

The worth-while thing, from my point of view, was that it 
reached women. "I never knew what the tariff meant before," 
Jane Addams wrote me. 

Here was something which touched those in whom she was 
interested wage earners. She knew from actual contact what 
the increase of a cent in the price of a quart of milk, a spool of 
thread, a pound of meat, meant to working girls with their six 
or eight dollars a week. She knew that every penny added to 
the cost of their food, clothes, or coal gave less warmth, less cov- 
ering 1 , It was not difficult to show that what they were trying to 
do in Washington in the making of the Payne-Aldrich bill was 
just that a tariff that would add to the cost of things that must 
bo had if people were to live at all. 

To my deep satinf action tins effort to make the new tariff bill 
in the good old way was promptly met by a rousing challenge 
from a gronp of progressive Republican Senators, men who had 


been largely responsible for forcing the promise to reform into 
the party platform. When they discovered that there would be 
no reform if the lobbyists and their friends in Congress could 
prevent it, they crystallized into one of the most vigorous and 
intelligent fighting bands that had been seen for many years in 
Congress. Insurgents, they were called. 

The leader in the revolt, interested in railroad reform rather 
than the tariff, was La Follette of Wisconsin. Others were Bev- " 
eridge of Indiana, Cummins and Dolliver of Iowa, Borah of 
Idaho, and Bristow of Kansas. They were already familiar fig- 
ures at the American along with certain members of the House, 
particularly the salty and peppery William Kent of California 
Phillips, Baker and Steffens being in frequent communica- 
tion with them. 

The most brilliant and witty, as well as the most thoroughly 
informed of the tariff insurgents was the amiable Senator Dolliver 
from Iowa twenty years in Congress always regular always 
stoutly supporting the tariff bills turned out by the committee. 

"What ails you now?" I asked him. 

"Well," he said, "I had been going on for twenty years taking 
practically without question what they handed me; but these 
alliances between the party and industrial interests have at last 
set me thinking. I began to understand something of the injus- 
tice that was being done to the consumer. And then we prom- 
ised to reform the tarijff . 5? 

When the insurgents divided up the schedules for study, 
Schedule K wool the most difficult and the most important 
politically, fell to Senator Dolliver. lie found he had been voting 
for years for duties which, when he sat down to read the schedule, 
he could not understand. He discovered they were a mixture of 
tricks, evasions, and discriminations intended to be so, lie be- 
lieved. He determined to master them. 

And master them he did by mouths of the Reverent night work. 
He pored over statistics and technical treatises. He vituted mills 


and importing houses and retail shops. He sought the aid of 
experts, and in the end he knew his subject so well that he went 
onto the floor of the Senate without a manuscript and literally 
played with Schedule K, and incidentally also with Senator 
Aldrich, who was said to fly to the cloak room whenever Senator 
Dolliver rose to speak. When he had finished his clean, com- 
petent dissection, Schedule K lay before the Senate a law with- 
out principles or morals; and yet, just as it was, the Senate of 
the United States passed it, and the President of the United 
States signed it, and it went on the statute books. 

Why? Neither Mr. Taft nor Mr. Aldrich defended the wool 
schedule which made the bill odious. They both were frank in 
explaining that it was politically necessary, not at all a ques- 
tion of the fairness of the schedule, but a question of what power- 
ful interests demanded. The wool interests could defeat the bill 
if they did not get what they wanted. 

My conviction about the inequity of Schedule K was so strong 
that when the Outlook published a long defense of it^ plainly 
an, advertisement but not so marked, I protested in a personal 
letter to its vociferous contributing editor, Theodore Roosevelt, 
with whom by this time I was on fairly friendly terms. Just what 
I said in my letter about the Herald which so stirred his wrath 
I do not remember, but his answer to my comment is so typically 
Iloosevcltian in temper and reasoning that I think it should be 
preserved : 

May 6, 1911 
Oh! Miss Tarbcll, Miss Tarbell! 

How can you take the view you do of the Herald ! You com- 
pare it with the Tribune. It is perfectly legitimate to compare 
the Tribune with Mr. Watterson's paper, the Courier-Journal. 
Honest people could agree or disagree about those two papers. 
Personally I think that during the last thirty or forty years the 
Tribune lias been infinitely more helpful to good causes than 
the Courier-Journal, but, as I say, people can differ on such a 


subject; and I should be very glad to meet at any time either 
Henry Watterson or Whitelaw Reid. But to compare either one 
of them with the Herald is literally and precisely as if I should 
compare either the American Magazine or The Outlook with 
Town Topics. -^ 

Having expressed his opinion of the Herald, he proceeded to 
an elaborate specious explanation of the matter which had so 
stirred my ire that 1 .1 d protested to him. 

Now as for what you say about The Outlook's publishing "The 
Truth about K." In the first place, I admit at once that the 
title, the type, and the placing of this advertisement did make it 
look to many readers like an editorial article. We used the same 
title, type and placing that had been used for similar articles 
for twenty years; but our attention was subsequently called to 
the fact, to which you now call my attention, i.e., that some people 
were misled in the matter ; and in consequence we at once aban- 
doned this twenty years' custom. From now on, every article of 
the kind will appear under the heading of "Advertising Depart- 
ment" or "Advertising Section," so that there cannot be any 
possible mistake in the future. As for the publication of the ar- 
ticle itself, I most emphatically think that it was not only justi- 
fiable, but commendable. The Outlook publishes continually let- 
ters from people upholding policies or views with which The 
Outlook diametrically disagrees. (For example, The Outlook has 
on several different occasions published letters taking a very dark 
view of my own character and achievements, whether at San Juan 
Hill or elsewhere.) This particular article by Spencer I should 
have been glad to see published in the regular section of the 
Outlook as putting forth his side of the case, just as I am BOW 
trying to secure publication in The Outlook of an article from 
the North Western farmers giving their side of the case against 
Canadian reciprocity, Spencer's article, however, was too long, 
and such being the case, as I say, I was not merely willing but 
glad to see it put in. (I did not know it had been put in, of 
course, until long after it had appeared ; but when I did see it, 
I was glad that it had been put in.) Probably you know that on 
April 8th The Outlook editorially took up this question* stated 


that the American Woolen Company was entirely justified in 
printing their article as an advertisement, and that The Out- 
look violated in no degree the ethics of journalism in admitting 
the advertisement to its pages and expressed its total disagree- 
ment with the views expressed in the article. I would have gone 
further than this; I would have stated that The Outlook did 
not violate the ethics of journalism, but rendered a great and 
needed service as an example in showing its willingness to accept 
the statement of a case with which it did not agree, to put it in 
exactly as it was written, and then itself to comment with abso- 
lute freedom, as it has done, upon the arguments made in the 
advertisement. Let me repeat that if The Outlook had had space, 
which it unfortunately did not have, I should have been glad to 
see Spencer's article inserted, not as an advertisement, but as a 
communication signed by Spencer, and avowedly stating his side 
of the case. 

Sincerely yours 


I felt that I had won my case with Mr. Roosevelt's assurance 
that henceforth "every article of the kind would appear under 
the head of "Advertising Department-" 

When the Paync-Aldrich bill was finally passed with Mr. 
Taft's and Mr. Aldricli's brutally frank explanations, I was 
done with the tariff as a subject for further study and writing. 
Four years later came the Democratic effort to make a revision. 
I had only the most casual interest. It was the same old method. 
They might make a better bill, I told myself, but there never 
could be a fair one as long as tariffs were set by a Congress under 
the thumb of people personally interested. 

One thing seemed to me clear which is still clearer now, the 
combined prohibitive tariff industries were digging their own 
grave. Foreign markets they had to have; but they refused to 
buy from those to whom they wanted to sclL What the gentle- 
men did not realize was that by this procedure they were prac- 
tically forcing nations not naturally industrial to copy their 
method^ industrialize themselves. These nations soon were sue- 


ceeding with such skill that in spite of the boosting of the tariff 
again and again the foreigners continued to undersell us. 

But the prohibitive protectionists were building a future com- 
petitor threatening to be stronger than foreign trade. This in 
the realm of politics. There had been no more hearty and con- 
scienceless supporters of prohibitive tariffs than certain groups 
of organized labor, conspicuously the Amalgamated Steel and 
Iron Workers under John Jarrett. They were not a numerous 
body, but with the cry of the full dinner pail they were able to 
back the demands of the employers. They had a body of votes that 
no political party dared defy. But in teaching organized labor 
the power of political pressure the industrialists gave them a 
weapon that they did not see might one day be turned against 

Back in the eighties one of the wisest and soundest economists 
we have produced, David A. Wells, said in substance of the vic- 
tory of the tariff lobbies: "This is a revolution. It will take 
another revolution to overthrow the leadership now established 
by business men." 

I felt after the bill of 1909 that there was nothing for an out- 
sider like me to do but wait for that revolution. 

I felt this so deeply that when President Wilson invited me to 
be a member of the Tariff Commission he formed in December, 
1916, 1 refused. I was pleased, of course, that Mr. Wilson thought 
me fit for such a place. I knew that I should find the associations 
interesting. The dean of tariff students in the United States 
Dr. Taussig of Harvard- was the chairman. To be under him 
would be an education that would be worth the taking-, but I 
did not hesitate. 

First, there was my personal situation- my obligations. I had 
no right to give up my profession for a connection of that sort, 
in its nature temporary. Then I realized my own unfitncss as 
Mr. Wilson could not. I had had no experience in the kind of 
work this required. I was an observer and reporter, not a ncgo- 


tiator. I am not a good fighter in a group ; I forget my duty in 
watching the contestants. But primarily there was my hopeless- 
ness about the service the Tariff Commission might render. Its 
researches and its conclusions, however sound, would stand no 
chance in Congress when a wool or iron and steel or sugar lobby 
appeared. A Tariff Commission was hamstrung from the start. 

Of course it was not only my interest and work on the tariff 
that had led Mr. Wilson to offer me the position. He was look- 
ing about for women to whom he could give recognition. He was 
an outspoken advocate of suffrage and wanted to use women when 
he thought them qualified. 

Jane Addams pleaded with me to accept "for the sake of 
women," but I did not feel that women were served merely by 
an appointment to office. Womcn^ like men, serve in proportion 
to their fitness for office, to the actual fact they have something 
to contribute. I had no enthusiasm for the task, did not even 
respect it greatly. I believed, too, that harm is done all around 
by undertaking technical jobs without proper scientific train- 
ing. The cause of women is not to be advanced by putting them 
into positions for which they are untrained. 

The press comments on the idea of a woman on this commis- 
sion were not unfriendly, as far as I saw them ; but they were a 
little surprised and, as I was to find later, protests were made 
to Mr. Wilson. My friend Ray Stannard Baker, working on 
the Wilson papers, came across an answer of the President on 
December S57, 1010, to one protesting gentleman which I am 
not too modest to print: 

An a matter of fact, she has written more good sense, good 
plain common sense, about the tariff than any man I know of, 
and Ls a student of imtaatrial conditions in this country of the 

mot serious and sensible sort. 


I WAS done with the tariff, but it was out of the tariff that my 
next serial came born partly of a guilty conscience ! In attempt- 
ing to prove that in certain highly protected industries only a 
small part of a duty laid in the interest of labor went to labor 
I had taken satisfaction in picturing the worst conditions I 
could find, badly ventilated and dangerous factories, unsanitary 
homes, underfed children. But in looking for this material I 
found, in both protected and unprotected industries, substantial 
and important efforts making to improve conditions, raise wages, 
shorten hours, humanize relations. 

My conscience began to trouble me. Was it not as much my 
business as a reporter to present this side of the picture as to 
present the other? If there were leaders in practically every in- 
dustry who regarded it not only as sound ethics but as sound 
economics to improve the lot of the worker, ought not the public 
to be familiarized with this belief? 

At that moment, and indeed for a good many years, the public 
had heard little except of the atrocities of industrial life- By 
emphasizing, the reformers had hoped to hasten changes they 
sought. The public was coming to believe that the inevitable re- 
sult of corporate industrial management was exploitation, neg- 
lect, bullying, crushing of labor, that the only hope was in 
destroying the system. 

But if the practices were not universal, if there was a steady, 
though slow, progress, ought not the public to recognize it? 
Was it not the duty of those who were called muckrakers to rake 
up the good earth as well as the noxious ? Was there not as much 
driving force in a good example as in an evil one? 



The office was not unfriendly to the Idea. As a matter of fact 
The American Magazine had little genuine muckraking spirit. 
It did have a large and fighting interest in fair play ; it sought 
to present things as they were, not as somebody thought they 
ought to be. We were journalists, not propagandists; and as 
journalists we sought new angles on old subjects. The idea that 
there was something fundamentally sound and good in indus- 
trial relations, that in many spots had gone far beyond what 
either labor or reformers were demanding, came to the office as 
a new attack on the old problem. Mr. Phillips, always keenly 
aware of the new and significant, had his eye on the movement, 
I found, and was willing to commission me to go out and see 
what I could find. 

This was in 1912, and for the next four years I spent the 
bulk of my time in factories and industrial towns. The work took 
me from Maine to Alabama, from New York to Kansas. I found 
my material in all sorts of industries: iron and steel in and 
around Pittsburgh, Chicago, Duluth; mines in West Virginia, 
Illinois, and Wisconsin; paper boxes and books and newspapers 
everywhere; candy in Philadelphia; beer and tanneries and 
woodwork in Wisconsin; shirts and collars and shoes in New 
York and Massachusetts. I watched numberless things in the 
making: turbines and optical lenses, jewelry and mesh bags, 
kodaks and pockotlaiives, plated cutlery and solid silver tea 
services, Minton tableware and American Bcllcck, cans and Iron- 
ware, linen tablecloths and sails for a cup defender, furniture 
I suspected was to be sold in Europe for antiques, and bric-a-brac 
I knew was to be sold in America as Chinese importations, rail- 
road rails and wire for a thousand purposes, hooklcss fasteners 
and mechanical toys* I seemed never to tire of seeing things made, 
But do not ask me now how they were made ! 

I never counted the number of factories I visited. Looking at 
the volume in which I finally gathered my findings, I find there 
are some fifty-five major concerns mentioned; but these were 


those which in my judgment best illustrated the particular point 
I was trying to make. There were many more. 

My visits had to be arranged beforehand. I took pains to make 
sure of my credentials, but I soon discovered that my past work 
served me well. The heads of the industries and many workmen 
were magazine readers, liked to talk about writers and asked 
all sorts of curious questions about men and women they had 
become acquainted with in McClure's and the American: Kipling, 
Baker, Steffens, Will White, Edna Ferber, just coming on at 
that time. There was often considerable asperity at the top 
when I presented my letters of introduction. They set me down 
as an enemy of business ; but again and again this asperity was 
softened by a man's love of Abraham Lincoln. He had a habit 
of reading everything about Lincoln that he could put his hands 
on, collected books, brought out my "Life" to be autographed. 
That is, while I was persona non grata for one piece of work, 
another piece softened suspicion and opened doors to me. 

My first move in a factory was to study the processes of the 
particular industry. Machines were not devils to me as they were 
to some of my reforming friends, particularly that splendid old 
warrior Florence Kellcy, then in the thick of her fight for "ethical 
gains through legislation." To me machines freed from heavy 
labor, created abundance. That is, I started out free of the in- 
hibition that hate of a machine puts on many observers. I think 
because of this I was better able to judge the character of a fac- 
tory, to see its weak as well as its good points. I was able to 
understand what the enemy of the machine rarely admit**: that 
men and women who have arrived at the dignity of steady work- 
ers not only respect, but frequently take pride in, their machines- 

Again, I gave myself time around these factories. The ob- 
server who once in his life goes down for half a clay into a mine 
or spends two or three hours walking through a steel mill, nat- 
urally revolts against the darkness, the clatter, the smoke, the 
danger. As a rule he misses the points of real hardship; he also 


misses the satisfactions. As my pilgrimage lengthened, I became 
more and more convinced that there is no trade which has not 
its devotee. 

"Once a miner, always a miner." "Once a sailor, always a 
sailor." One might go through the whole category. 

"Why," I now and then asked miners, "do you stay by the 

"I was brought up to it." "I like it." "Nobody bothers you 
when you are working with a pick." "Nice and quiet in the 


"But the danger!" 

"No worse than railroading," "My brother got killed by a 
horse last week." 

In the end I came to the conclusion that there was probably 
no larger percentage of whose who did not like the work they 
were doing than there is in the white-collar occupations. In the 
heavy industries particularly, I found something like the farm- 
er's conviction that they were doing a man's job. It made them 
contemptuous of white-collar workers. 

I spent quite as much time looking at homes as at plants. The 
test I made of the industrial villages and of company houses 
was whether or no, if I set myself to it, I could make a decent 
home in them. I found even in the most barren and unattractive 
company districts women who had made attractive homes. There 
was the greatest difference in home-making ability, in the train- 
ing of women for it. The pride of the man who had a good house- 
keeper as a wife, a good cook, was great. I do not remember 
that a man ever asked me to come to his house unless he consid- 
ered Ins wife a good housekeeper. I remember one so proud of 
IUB home that he took me all over it, showing with delight how 
his Sunday clothes, his winter overcoat, the Sunday dress of his 
little girl, were hung on hangers with a calico curtain in front 
to keep them clean. His housekeeper, in this case a mother- 
in-law, confided to me in talking things over that night that in 


her judgment the reason so many men drank was that the women 
did not know how to keep house. 

Visiting with the family after the supper dishes were cleared 
away, I managed to get at what was most important in their 
lives. After steady work it was the church. After minister or 
priest, the public-school teacher was the most trusted friend of 
the household. In many places, however, I found her authority 
beginning to be divided with the company nurse, for the com- 
pany nurse was just being added to industrial staffs. Many 
of my reforming friends felt that in going into a factory and 
taking a salary a nurse was aligning herself with the evil inten- 
tions of the corporation, but the average man did not feel that 
way. She helped him out in too many tight places. 

As to the relation of workmen to their union for often they 
belonged to a union I concluded that in the average industrial 
community it was not unlike that of the average citizen to his 
political party and political boss. 

Both the union and the employer seemed to me to be missing 
opportunities to help men to understand the structure of in- 
dustry, perhaps because they did not themselves understand it 
too well, or sank their understanding in politics. Both \mion 
and employer depended upon one or another form of force when 
there was unrest, rather than education and arbitration. In doing 
this they weakened, perhaps in the end destroyed, that by which 
they all lived. 

The most distressing thing in mills and factories seemed to 
me to be the atmosphere of suspicion which had accumulated 
from years of appeal to force. I felt it as soon as I went into 
certain plants everybody watching me, the guide, the boss, the 
men at the machines. 

But to conclude that because of this suspicion, thin lack of 
understanding, which keeps so many industries always on the 
verge of destruction, there were no natural friendly contacts be- 
tween the management and the men is not to know the world* 


I found that practically always the foreman or the boss, some- 
times the big boss, in an industry had come up from the ranks. 
In various industrial towns I found the foreman's family or the 
superintendent's family living just around the corner, and his 
brother, perhaps his father, working in the mine or the mill. He 
was one in the family who had been able to lift himself. Nor 
did it follow that there was bad blood between a "big boss" and 
the head of a warlike union. I had been led to believe they did 
not speak in passing. I had supposed that, if Samuel Gompers 
and Judge Gary met, they would probably fly at each other's 
throat; but at the Washington Industrial Conference in 1919, 
standing in a corridor of the Pan-American Building, I saw the 
two approaching from different directions. They were going to 
pass close to me. I had a cold chill about what might happen. 
But what happened was that Mr. Gompers said, "Hello, Judge," 
in the friendliest tone and Judge Gary called cheerfully, "Hello, 
Sam." And that was all there was to it. Later, when I was to 
see much of Judge Gary, trying to make out what the famous 
Gary code meant, and how it was being applied, we talked more 
than once of Samuel Gompers and his technique. The Judge 
had great respect for him as a political opponent, as well he 

It is hard to stop talking when I recall these four years, drift- 
ing up and down the country into factories and homes. The 
contrast between old ways and new ways was always before me. 
Many a sad thing I saw nothing more disturbing than the 
strikes, for I managed to get on the outskirts of several and fol- 
low up the aftermath, which was usually tragic. 

There was the ghastly strike in certain fertiliser plants at 
RooHcvclt on the Jersey coast. I followed it through to its un- 
satisfactory end. Rival labor and political bodies fought each 
other for clays while the men with drawn and hopeless faces 
loafed in groups in saloons or on doorsteps. 

"All going to the devil while their unions fight," said the 


woman who gave me my meals in the only boarding house in 
the desolate place. "I am for the union, but the union does not 
know when they go into a strike which they can avoid what they 
are doing to men. It turns them into tramps. They leave their 
families and take to the road. It is better that they leave. I think 
the women often think that, so they won't have any more babies. 
No, the union does not see what it does to men. But what are 
the men going to do when things were like they were in this 
place? You know what their wages were. You know what a 
hellish sort of place this is. What are they going to do?" 

It was the men who saw industry as a cooperative undertaking 
who gave me heart. I do not mean political cooperation, but 
practical cooperation, worked out on the ground by the persons 
concerned. The problems and needs of no two industrial under- 
takings are ever alike. For results each must be treated accord- 
ing to the situation. The greatest contributions I found to in- 
dustrial peace and stability came when a man recognized that 
a condition was wrong and set out to correct it. 

There was Thomas Lynch, president of the Prick Coke Com- 
pany of Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. Tommy Lynch 
had swung a pick before John Lewis did and, like Lewis, had 
risen by virtue of hard work and real ability, from one position 
to another one to become the head of a group of mines, the 
other to become the head of a group of miners. But no union 
could keep up with Tommy Lynch in the improvements he de- 
manded for his mines and miners. It was he who originated the 
famous slogan "Safety First." When I talked with him about 
rescue crews he swore heartily, "Damn rescue work prevent 

Tommy Lynch's work did not end in the mine, lie had a 
theory that you could not be a good worker unless you had a 
good home. He literally lifted some seven thousand company 
houses, which he had inherited from an old management, out 
of their locations between high mountains of lifeless slag and 


put them onto tillable land, gave every woman water in her 
kitchen and a plot of land for a garden. 

In 1914, when I was first there, out of 7,000 homes 6,923 had 
gardens. And such gardens! It took three days for Mr. Lynch 
and two or three other distinguished gentlemen to decide on 
the winners of the nine prizes given for the finest displays. They 
were estimating that the vegetable gardens yielded $143,000 
worth of vegetables that year. I went back to see what they were 
doing with those gardens in the middle of the late depression. 
There were even more of them, and they were even more pro- 
ductive. Knowing what the garden meant, the miners had turned 
to the cultivation with immense energy. The company had 
plowed and fertilized tracts of untilled land near each settle- 
ment, and the men were raising extra food for the winter. Many 
of these miners were selling vegetables in the near-by town 

Believing as I do that the connection of men and women with 
the soil is not only most healthy for the body but essential for 
the mind and the soul, these gardens aroused almost as much 
thankfxilness in my heart as the safety work. 

But Tommy Lynch could not have worked out his notions of 
safety and gardening without the cooperation of the miners, 
even if it was sometimes begrudging. 

Then there was Henry Ford attacking the problem which 
most concerned his plant, labor turnover in his case something 
like 1200 per cent. He had come Into the industrial picture with 
his minimum wage of five dollars a day just before I began my 
work. In May of 1915 I set up shop for ten days in a Detroit 
hotel in order to study what he was doing. The days I spent in 
and around the Ford factory ; nights, tired out with observations 
and emotions, I came back to a hot bath and dinner in bed, talk- 
ing my findings into a dictaphone until I fell off to sleep. 

Connections had not been hard to make* There was then at 
the head of Ford publicity an experienced and able gentleman 


who realized that articles in The American Magazme on the 
Ford plant, whether favorable or not, were good for the con- 
cern, and who saw to it that I had every chance. Mr. Ford him- 
self was my first important objective. He saw me in his big 
office looking down on the plant, a plant then employing eighteen 
thousand men. At the first glimpse of his smiling face I was 
startled by the resemblance to the picture of the young Lincoln 
which had played such a part in the launching of the Lincoln 
articles in McClure's. It was the face of a poet and a philosopher, 
as in the young Lincoln there was a young Emerson. 

Like a poet and a philosopher, Henry Ford was unhurried. 
He was no slave to his desk. I saw it practically abandoned when 
he was wrestling with the successor to Model T. "Mr. Ford does 
not often come in," my conductor told me. a He is wandering 
through the factories these days. We never touch his desk." 

He was boyish and natural in off hours. Coming into the pri- 
vate lunchroom for officers at the plant, where I judged a place 
was always left for him, I saw him throw his long right leg over 
the back of the chair before he slid leisurely into the seat. 

"I have got an idea," he said. "People complain about the 
doors of the car not convenient. I am going to put a can opener 
into every car from now on and let them cut their own." 

He delighted in the flow of Ford jokes, wanted to hear the 
latest, to see it in the hoxise organ. 

When he saw me, it was he who did the talking, and he seemed 
to be straightening out his thoughts rather than replying to 
my questions. When I asked him his reasons for mans produc- 
tion he had a straight-away answer. 

"It is to give people everything they want and then some," 
he said. And then he went on to enlarge in a way I have never 

"There's no reason why everybody shouldn't have everything 
he needs if we managed it right, weren't afraid of making too 
much. Our business is to make things so cheap that everybody 


can buy *em. Take these shears." He picked up a handsome pair 
of large shears on his desk. "They sell for three or four dollars, 
I guess. No reason you couldn't get them down to fifty cents. 
Yes, fifty cents," he repeated as I gasped. "No reason at all. 
Best in the world so every little girl in the world could have a 
pair. There's more money in giving everybody things than in 
keeping them dear so only a few can have them. I want our car 
so cheap that every workman in our shop can have one if he 
wants it. Make things everybody can have that's what we want 
to do. And give 'em money enough. The trouble's been we didn't 
pay men enough. High wages pay. People do more work. We 
never thought we'd get back our five dollars a day; didn't think 
of it; just thought that something was wrong that so many 
people were out of work and hadn't anything saved up, and 
thought we ought to divide. But we got it all back right away. 
That means we can make the car cheaper, and give more men 
work. Of course when you're building and trying new things 
all the time you've got to have money; but you get it if you 
make men. I don't know that our scheme is best. It will take 
five years to try it out, but we are doing the best we can and 
changing when we strike a snag." 

What it simmered down to was that if you wanted to make a 
business you must make men, and you must make men by see- 
ing that they Kad a chance for what we arc pleased to call these 
days a good life. And if they arc going to have a good life they 
must not only have money but have low prices. 

There was much more, I soon found, than five dollars a day 
and upwards that was behind the making of men at Ford's. 
There was the most scientific system for handling 1 mass produc- 
tion processes that I had ever seen. Tasks were graded. A work- 
man was given every incentive to get into higher classes. But I 
was not long at Ford's before 1 discovered that it was not this 
system, already established, it was not the five dollars, it was 
not the flourishing business, it was not advertising deeply and 


efficiently and aggressively as all these things were handled 
which at the moment was absorbing the leaders of the business. 
It was what Mr. Ford was calling "the making of men." It was 
a thoroughly worth-while and deeply human method. Mr. Ford 
knew that, do all you can for a man in the factory a short day, 
higher wages, good conditions, training, advancement if things 
are not right for him at home he will not in the long run be a 
good workman. So he set out to reorganize the home life of 
the men. 

It was done by a sociological department made up at that 
time of some eighty men all taken out of the factory itself, for 
Mr. Ford's theory was then that, no matter what you wanted 
done, you could always find somebody among the eighteen thou- 
sand "down there," as he called it, that was qualified. So they 
had selected eighty for social service work and these men were 
doing it with a thoroughness and a frankness which was almost 
as important as the five dollars a day had been. 

"Paternal" was the adjective generally applied to the Ford 
method ; but one of the interesting things about Mr. Ford is the 
little effect a word has on him. Call a thing what you like, it 
is the idea, the method, that he is after. If that seems to him to 
make sense, you may have your word it doesn't trouble him. 

So they went energetically about their determination to add 
to what they were doing for the making of men inside of the 
factory a thorough overhauling of the men's lives outside. There 
were certain things that were laid down as essential* You bad 
to be clean cleanliness had played no part in the liven of hun- 
dreds of these men. But when they did not get their "big en- 
velope" and asked why, they were told it wan because their Imncis 
were dirty, they didn't wash their necks, didn't wear clean clothes. 
Ford's men must be clean. Already it had made an astonishing 1 
difference in the general look of the factory. And this cleanli- 
ness was carried by the sociological department into the home. 
The men must be kept clean, and tine women must do their part. 


Many of the women as well as the men were discovering for the 
first time the satisfaction of cleanliness. "Feels good," said a 
working woman to me, reluctant but thorough convert accord- 
ing to my conductor. "Feels good to be clean." 

They were enemies of liquor, and no man who drank could 
keep his place. But he was not thrown out : he must reform. And 
some of the most surprising cures of habitual drunkenness that 
I have ever come across I found in the Ford factory in 1915. 

There was a strong sympathy throughout the factory for 
derelicts. There were four hundred men in Ford's when I was 
there who had served prison terms. Nobody knew them, but each 
had his special guardian; and no mother ever looked after a 
child more carefully than these guardians looked after their 

In this social work Mr. Ford was constantly and deeply inter- 
ested. As nearly as I could make out, there was nothing of which 
they all talked more. 

I dined one night with four or five of the officers, including 
Mr. Ford, and while I had expected to hear much about mass 
production and wage problems the only thing I heard was, "How 
are you getting on with Mary?" "How about John?" "Do you 
think we can make this housing scheme work?" That is, what 
I was discovering at Ford's was that they were not thinking 
in terms of labor and capital, but in terms of Tom, Dick, and 
Harry. They were taking men and women, individuals, families, 
and with patience and sense and humor and determination were 
putting them on their feet, giving them interest and direction in 
managing their lives. This was the Henry Ford of 1916. 

But work like that of Tommy Lynch and Henry Ford de- 
pended upon individual qualities of a rare and exceptional kind, 
also upon the opportunity to test ideas. Neither Lynch nor Ford 
was willing to let bad situations, a stiff problem alone. It chal- 
lenged their wits, particularly when it concerned men in mine 
and factory. They were not hampered by dogmas or politics. 


They did things in their own way, and if one method did not 
work tried another ; and both had a rare power to persuade men 
to follow them. They were self-made, unhampered products of 
old-fashioned democracy, and both were thorns in the flesh of 
those who worked according to blue prints, mechanized organi- 
zations or the status quo. But the success of both with the par- 
ticular labor problems they tackled was the answer to critics. 

Only how could men of lesser personality, lesser freedom of 
action, and lesser boldness in trying out things follow? They 
could not. They had to have a more scientific practice if they 
were to achieve genuine cooperation in working out their prob- 
lems. And what I was seeing in certain plants, as I went up and 
down the country, convinced me it had come in the Frederick 
Taylor science of management. 

I had first heard of Taylor in the American Magazine office. 
John Phillips had sensed something important on foot when he 
read that Louis Brandeis, acting as counsel for certain shippers 
in a suit they had brought against the railroads, had told the 
defendants that they could afford lower rates if they would re- 
organize their business on the lines of scientific management which 
Frederick Taylor had developed. They could lower rates and 
raise wages. 

"And who is Frederick Taylor?" asked Mr. Phillips. "Baker, 
you better find out." 

And so Frederick Taylor had come to know the American 
group, and he had given to the American, much to our pride, 
his first popular article explaining what lie meant by scientific 
management. In the following letter Mr. Taylor tells a protest- 
ing friend why he gave it to us : 

I have no doubt that the Atlantic Monthly would give tis a 
better audience from a literary point of view than we etnild get 

from the American Magazine. But the readers of the Atlantic 
Monthly consist probably very largely of professors and literary 
men, who would be interested more in the abstract theory than 


in the actual good which would come from the introduction of 
scientific management. 

On the other hand, I feel that the readers of the American 
Magazine consist largely of those who are actually doing the 
practical work of the world. The people whom I want to reach 
with the article are principally those men who are doing the 
manufacturing and construction work of our country, both em- 
ployers and employees, and I have an idea that many more per- 
sons of that kind would be reached through the American Maga- 
zine than through the Atlantic Monthly. 

In considering the best magazine to publish the paper in, I 
am very considerably influenced by the opinion I have formed 
of the editors who have been here to talk over the subject; and 
of these Ray Stannard Baker was by far the most thorough and 
enthusiastic in his analysis of the whole subject. He looked at 
all sides in a way which no other editor dreamed of doing. He 
even got next to the workingmen and talked to them at great 
length on the subject. I cannot but feel, also, that the audience 
which reads the work of men of his type must be an intelligent 
and earnest audience. 

Mr. , who has just been here, suggested that among 

a certain class of people the American Magazine is looked upon 
as a muckraking magazine. I think that any magazine which 
opposed the "stand-patters" and was not under the control of 
the moneyed powers of the United States would now be classed 
among the muckrakcrs. This, therefore, has no very great weight 
with me* 

Taylor believed like Henry Ford that the world could take 
all we could make, that the power of consumption was limitless. 
"To give the world all it needs is the mission of industry," he 
shouted at me one day I spent with him at Boxley (his home 
near Philadelphia) shouted it with many picturesque oaths. 
I have never known a man who could swear so beautifully and so 

Mr. Taylor's system in part or whole had been applied in 
many factories which, I visited in my four years. You knew its 
outward sign as soon as you entered the yard. Order, routing, 


were first laws, and the old cluttered shops where you fell over 
scattered material and picked your way around dump heaps were 
now models of classified order. A man knew where to find the 
thing he needed, and things were placed where it took the fewest 
steps to reach them. 

Quite as conspicuous as the physical changes in the shop was 
the change in what may be called its human atmosphere. Under 
the Taylor System the business of management was not only 
planning but controlling what it planned. Management laid out 
ahead the day's work for each man at his machine ; to him they 
went with their instructions, to them he went for explanations 
and suggestions. Office and shop intermingled. They realized their 
mutual dependence as never before, learned to respect each other 
for what they were worth. Watching the functioning, one real- 
ized men had come to feel more or less as Taylor himself felt: 
that nothing of moment was ever accomplished save by coopera- 
tion, which must be "intimate and friendly." Praised once for 
his work on the art of cutting metal he said a thing all leaders 
would do well to heed : 

"I feel strongly that work of any account in order to be done 
rightly should be done through true cooperation, rather than 
through the individual effort of any one man; and, in fact, I 
should feel rather ashamed of any achievement in which I at- 
tempted to do the whole thing myself*" 

Nothing was more exciting to me than the principles by which 
Taylor had developed his science. They were the principles he 
had applied to revolutionary discoveries and inventions in engi- 
neering. I made a brief table of them. They make the best code 
I know for progress in human undertakings : 

1) Find out what others have clone before you and begin 
where they left off. 

2) Question everything prove everything, 

3) Tackle only one variable at a time. Shun the temptation 
to try more than one in order to get quick results. 


4) Hold surrounding conditions as constant and uniform as 
possible while experimenting with your variable. 

5) Work with all men against no one. Make them want to 
go along. 

There is enduring vitality in these principles and there is uni- 
versality. They are as good for battered commonwealths as for 
backward disorganized industries. Think what it would mean in 
Washington today if all the experimenters began where others 
had left off, if no demonstrated failure was repeated, if theory 
was held to be but 25 per cent of an achievement, practice 75, 
if one variable at a time was experimented with, if time were 
taken for solutions and above all if everybody concerned accepted 
"intimate and friendly" cooperation as the most essential of all 
factors in our restoration, 

This hunt for practical application of the Golden Rule in 
industry left me in much better spirits than my studies of trans- 
portation and tariff privileges. The longer I looked into the 
latter the deeper had been my conviction that in the long run 
they would ruin the hope of peaceful unity of life in America. 
They seemed to me inconsistent with democracy as I understood 
it and certainly inconsistent with my simple notions of what 
made men and women of character. Were we not getting a larger 
and larger class interested only in what money would buy? Par- 
ticularly did I dislike the spreading belief that wealth piled up 
by a combination of ability, illegality, and bludgeoning could 
be so used as to justify itself that the good to be done would 
cancel the evil done. What it amounted to was the promotion 
of hximanitarianism at the expense of Christian ethics ; and that, 
I believe, made for moral softness instead of stoutness. 

But there was nothing soft about the experiments I had been 
following. Where they succeeded, it was by following uncon- 
sciously in general Taylor's stiff principles. Patient training, 
stern discipline, active cooperation alone produced safety, health, 
efficient workmen, abundance of cheap honest output. I had faith 


in these things. They were the foundation of genuine social serv- 
ice. All desired goods followed them as they became part of the 
nation's habit of life, reaching down to its lowest depths. 

Many of my reforming friends were shocked because the one 
and only reason most industrial leaders gave for their experi- 
ments was that it paid. Generally speaking, the leaders were the 
kind who would have cut their tongues out before acknowledging 
that any other motive than profit influenced them. Certainly 
they sought dividends ; but they believed stability, order, peace, 
progress, cooperation were back of dividends. That industry 
which paid must, as Mr. Ford said, "make men." That the right 
thing paid, was one of their most far-reaching demonstrations. 
Men had not believed it. They were proving the contrary; so 
in spite of the charge of many of my friends that I was going 
over to the enemy, joining the corporation lawyer and the com- 
pany nurse, I clung to the new ideals. What I never could make 
some of these friends see was that I had no quarrel with cor- 
porate business so long as it played fair. It was the unfairness 
I feared and despised. I had no quarrel with men of wealth if 
they could show performance back of it untainted by privilege, 

Sometimes I suspected that the gains I set forth as practical 
results of this experimenting inside industry were resented by 
those who had been working for them for years through le#i- 
lation, organization, agitation, because they bad come about by 
other methods than theirs and generally in a more complete form 
than they had ventured to demand. But that the idealists had 
been a driving force behind the new movement inside industry 
was certain. Their method could not do the thing, but it could 
and did drive men to prove it could be done, 

My critics who charged me with giving comfort to the enemy 
did not see that often this enemy disliked what I was trying 
to do even more deeply than my so-called muckraking- Indeed, 
he took those pictures of new industrial methods and principles 
as a kind of backhanded muckraking indirect and so unfair* 


It threw all established methods of force into a relief as damag- 
ing as anything I ever had said about high duties and manipula- 
tions of railroad rates. 

Whatever challenges my new interest aroused, however con- 
fused my own defense of it was, I knew only that I should keep 
m y e y e on it and report any development which seemed to me 
a step ahead. That^ of course, was counting on continued editorial 
sympathy in the American. But hardly had I finished my book 
before that sympathy was cut off by a change in ownership. 

The change was inevitable, things being as they were in the 
magazine world after 1914. The crew who had manned our little 
ship so gallantly in 1906 when we left McClure's had lost only 
one of its numbers. A few months after we started Lincoln 
Stcffens withdrew. He objected to the editing of his articles, 
demanded that they go in as he wrote them. The same editorial 
principles were being applied to his productions that were ap- 
plied to those of other contributors. They were the principles 
which he himself had been accustomed to applying and to sub- 
mitting to on McClure's. The editorial board decided the policy 
could not be changed and accepted Steffens' resignation. 

Back of his withdrawal, as I saw it, was Steffens 9 growing dis- 
satisfaction with the restrictions of journalism. He wanted a 
wider field, one in which he could more directly influence political 
and social leaders, preach more directly his notions of the Golden 
Rule, which certainly at that time was his chosen guide. 

Certainly it was the creed of the American. It had always been 
John Phillips' answer to our fervent efforts to change things, 
"The only way to improve the world is to persuade it to follow 
the Golden Rule." 

I suppose Steffcns had heard of the Golden Rule, but I am 
certain he had never thought about it as a practical scheme for 
improving society. It seemed to me, at the time, that it came to 
him as an illumination, and for some years he held tight to it, 
preaching it to political bosses, to the tycoons of Wall Street, 


the Brahmins of Boston, confronting them with amazing frank- 
ness and no little satisfaction with their open disregard of its 
meanings. He became greatly disillusioned finally by discovering 
that men were quite willing to let their opponents act upon the 
Golden Rule but much less so to be governed by it themselves. 

My first realization that Steffens was struggling with the 
problem which confronted us all that is, whether we should 
stick to our profession or become propagandists was one day 
when I looked up suddenly to find him standing by my desk more 
sober, less certain of himself than I had ever seen him. 

"Charles Edward Russell has gone over to the Socialist party, 55 
he said. "Is that not what we should all be doing? Should we 
not make The American Magazine a Socialist organ?" 

I flared. Our only hope for usefulness was in keeping our free- 
dom, avoiding dogma, I argued. And that the American con- 
tinued to do. 

In the years that were to come, wars and revolutions largely 
occupied Steffens. Wherever there was a revolution you found 
him. He wrote many brilliant comments on what was going on 
in the world. When he came back from Russia after the Kcrcnnky 
revolution he was like a man who had seen a long hoped-for 

"I have looked at the millennium and it works," he told me. 

It was to be the practical application of that Golden Rule 
he had so long preached. But to my mind the Russian Revolu- 
tion had only just begun. The event in which he saw the coming 
of the Lord I looked on as only the first of probably many con- 
vulsions forced by successive generations of unsatisfied radicals* 
irreconcilable countcrrcvolutionists. When I voiced these pes- 
simistic notions to Steffens he called me heartless and blind, 

But there were other forces working against the type of 
journalism in which we believed. We were classed as muekrakcra, 
and the school had been so commercialized that the public was 
beginning to suspect it. The public is not as stupid as it some- 


times seems. The truth of the matter was that the muckraking 
school was stupid. It had lost the passion for facts in a passion 
for subscriptions. 

The coming of the War in 1914 forced a new program. It 
became a grave question whether, under the changed conditions, 
the increased confusion of mind, the intellectual and financial 
uncertainties, an independent magazine backed with little money 
could live. In undertaking the American we had all of us put 
in all the money we could lay our hands on. We had cut the 
salaries of McClure's in two, reduced our scale of living accord- 
ingly, and done it gaily as an adventure. And it had been a fine 
fruitful adventure in professional comradeship. We had made 
a good magazine, and we were all for making a better one and 
convinced we could do it. "I don't think," Ray Baker wrote me 
not long ago, "that I look back to any period of my life with 
greater interest than I do to that the eager enthusiasm, the 
earnestness, and the gaiety !" But we had come to a time when 
under the new conditions the magazine required fresh money, 
and we had no more to put in. 

The upshot was that in 1915 the American was sold to the 
Crowell Publishing Company. The new owners wanted a differ- 
ent type of magazine, and John Siddall, who had been steadily 
with us since I had unearthed him in Cleveland as a help in 
investigating the Standard Oil Company, was made active editor. 
Sicklall was admirably cut out to make the type of periodical 
the new controlling interests wanted. I have never known any 
one in or out of the profession with his omnivorous curiosity 
about human beings and their ways. He had enormous admira- 
tion for achievement of any sort, the thing done whatever its 
nature or trend. His interest in humankind was not diluted by 
any desire to save the world. It included all men. He had a 
shrewd conviction that putting things down as they are did more 
to save the world than any crusade. His instincts were entirely 
healthy and decent. The magazine was bound to be what we call 


wholesome. Very quickly he put his impress on the new journal, 
made it a fine commercial success. 

Gradually the old staff disintegrated. Peter Dunne went over 
to the editorial page of Cottier's Bert Boyden went to France 
with the Y.M.C.A. Mr. Phillips remained as a director and a 
consultant Siddall would hear of nothing else. "He is the great- 
est teacher I have ever known. I could learn from him if I were 
making shoes," he declared. And years later when, facing his 
tragic death, he was preparing a new man to take his place he 
told him solemnly, "Never fail to spend an hour a day with 
J. S. P. just talking things over." 

As for me it was soon obvious there was no place for my type 
of work on the new American. If I were to be free I must again 
give up security. Hardly, however, had I acted on my resolu- 
tion before along came Mr. Louis Alber of the Coit Albcr Lecture 
Bureau, one of the best known concerns at that time in the busi- 
ness. Mr. Alber had frequently invited me to join his troupe, 
and always I had laughed at the invitation: I was too busy; 
moreover I had no experience, did not know how to lecture. Now, 
however, it was a different matter, I was free, and I might for- 
get the situation in which I found myself by undertaking a now 
type of work. Was not lecturing a natural adjunct to my pro- 
fession? Moreover, Mr. Alber wanted me to speak on these New 
Ideals in Business which I had been discussing in the magazine, 
and he wanted me to speak on what was known as a Chautatiqua 
circuit, a kind of peripatetic Chautauqua. Perhaps my willing- 
ness to go had an element of curiosity in it, a desire to find out 
what this husky child of my old friend Chmitauqua was like. 

At all events I signed up for a seven weeks' circuit, forty- 
nine days in forty-nine different places. 


IT WAS not until my signed contract to speak for forty-nine 
consecutive days in forty-nine different places was laid before 
me that I realized I had agreed to do what I did not know how 
to do. I had ne^er in my life stood on my feet and made a pro- 
fessional speech. To begin with could I make people hear? I 
felt convinced that I had something to say, and so did my spon- 
sors but to what good if I could not be heard? What was this 
thing they called "placing the voice"? I went to my friend 
Franklin Sargent of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, 
told him of my predicament. After a first test he agreed with 
me that I did not know how to use my voice, and that unless I 
could learn I was letting myself in for a bad failure. 

Mr. Sargent was good enough to take me on as a pupil, un- 
interesting a one as I must have been. He began by putting me 
on the simplest exercises but with severe instructions about keep- 
ing them up. I went about my apartment day and night shouting 
a Ma, Me, Mi, Mo," "Ba, Be, Bi, Bo." I learned that the voice 
must come from the diaphragm, and that the diaphragm must 
be strong to throw it out for an hour at a time. Regularly every 
morning and every night, lying on my back with books on my 
stomach^ I breathed deeply until I could lift four or five volumes. 

By the time the circuit opened in July I knew theoretically 
how to use my voice ; but I soon found that to do it without now 
and then getting it into my throat, making horrible noises and 
throwing myself into nervous panics, I must be more conscious 
of it than was good for my method of handling my material. 
Indeed, It was not until my second year of speaking that I could 
count on my voice for the hour of the performance. I never 



came to a point where I did not have to ask that a glass of water 
be put within reach just in case. I found a glass of water a 
safety device if my attention was distracted for a moment and 
I lost my line of argument. I could pick it up, pretend to drink, 
change my position, regain poise. 

So much for my voice. I knew how to make people hear what 
I was saying. Now as to material. I was to talk on the same sub- 
ject day after day. That is, I was supposed to make daily the 
same speech. I was afraid of a memorized speech. A lecture ex- 
perience of my old friend George Kennan was largely responsible 
for that. After he had published his classic work on Siberia Mr, 
Kennan took his story to the lecture platform. He wrote his lec- 
ture with characteristic care memorized it and repeated it night 
after night on the long tours he made. It was an admirable lec- 
ture, one of the most moving I ever heard. 

In telling me of his platform experiences Mr. Kennan dropped 
this warning: "In giving a memorized lecture one must be very 
careful that no two sentences end with the same words. In my 
lecture on Siberia I unwittingly used five or six identical words 
to end different sentences one near the opening, the other near 
the closing of my talk. One night when perhaps I wan unusually 
tired, instead of picking up what followed the first sentence I 
picked up the words that followed the second. That is, I was 
ending my lecture when I had only just begun it. I saved myself, 
but after that I always took care that there were no two sen- 
tences in my talk with identical, even similar endings.'* 

My memory is a tricky and unreliable organ never properly 
trained, never held resolutely to its job, I should have been afraid 
to trust it on a lecture platform. Moreover, I realized that, since 
I was no orator and never should be, my only hope was to give 
the appearance of talking naturally, spontaneously, I put to- 
gether what seemed to me a logical framework and decided to 
drape it afresh every day, never to begin with the same words, 
to use fresh illustrations, to think aloud, experimenting, I soon 


discovered a fresh beginning every day was too much to ask 
of myself under the conditions of travel. I found it foolish, too, 
for if I had struck an opening that arrested attention, why 
change it for one that might not? I soon found that illustrations 
which were all right in an article did not serve with an audience. 
The line of argument which I would have followed in an article 
became more effective on a platform if switched. That is, as it 
turned out, although I was giving the same lecture every day, 
it was never quite the same. I worked on it constantly ; and that 
is what kept my interest. I think, because always I found how- 
ever tired I might be, however much I despised myself for under- 
taking to do what I more and more realized I did not know how 
to do, I always was interested in my subject, talking as if it 
was something of which I had never talked before. It was that 
personal interest in my material which carried me through. 

I had not given a thought in advance to the physical aspect 
of my undertaking. I had known that every day for forty-nine 
days I was to speak in a different place ; I knew that meant daily 
traveling, but that had not disturbed me. I had always prided 
myself that I was superior to physical surroundings. I had not 
been long on the Chautauqua Circuit before I was realising that 
they played an enormous part in my day. I found I was inquir- 
ing about the town to which we were headed: "How about the 
hotel? Are there bathrooms? If so, am I to get one?" 

I was uneasy about the table the ideas of cooking and serv- 
ingand at night about the noises, the drafts and other unmen- 
tionable worries. To my amazement the bed in which I was to 
sleep soon was taking an altogether disproportionate place in 
my mind. It is a fact that, when the circuit was over and I came 
to tell Its story, I could draw a diagram of any one of the rooms 
in which I had slept, giving the exact location of the bed in 
relation to windows and doors and bathroom. I remembered these 
beds when I clid not remember the hotel. 

To my surprise I found myself deeply interested in the physical 


life of the circuit, so like the life of the circus. We performed in 
tents, and our outfit was as gay as ever you saw khaki tents 
bound in red, with a great khaki fence about, pennants floating 
up and down the streets, and within, order, cleanliness, and the 
smartest kind of little platform and side dressing rooms. 

Naturally I had no little curiosity about my traveling com- 
panions. Scoffing eastern friends told me that there would be 
bell ringers, trained dogs, and Tyrolese yodelers, I found no such 
entertainment, but I could hardly have fallen in with pleasanter 
company. A quintette of young people whose business it was to 
sing for three-quarters of an hour before my afternoon lecture 
and for a like period before the evening entertainment, proved 
to be the gayest, kindest, healthiest of companions. They were 
hard workers, seriously interested in pleasing their audiences. 
They knew not only how to work, but how to live on the kind 
of junket that I had undertaken. In other words, here was a 
group of five young people who were doing what to me was very 
unusual, in a thoroughly professional way. The seventh member 
of our party, the evening entertainer, Sydney Lanclon, had had 
long experience on the circuit. He was doing his work exactly as 
a good writer or a good lawyer would do his. I waw at once that 
what I had joined was not, as I had hastily imagined, a hap- 
hazard semi-business, semi-philanthropic, happy-go-lucky new 
kind of barnstorming. It was serious work. 

In starting the Chautauqua work I was not conscious that 
there was a large percentage of condescenHion in my attitude. 
My first audience revealed my mind to me with painful definite- 
ness, and humbled me beyond expression. It wan all so unlike 
anything that I had had in my mind I wan to speak in the eve- 
ning and arrived at my destination late and after a rather hard 
day. It was a steel town one which I had known long years be- 
fore. The picturcflqueness of the thing struck me with amazement 
Planted on an open space in the straggling, dimly lighted streets, 
where the heavy panting of the blast furnaces could be clearly 


heard, I saw the tent ablaze with electric lights, for, if you 
please, we carried our own electric equipment. From all direc- 
tions men, women, and children were flocking white shirtwaists 
in profusion, few coats, and still fewer hats. And there were so 
many of them! I felt a queer sensation of alarm. Here in the 
high-banked tiers were scores upon scores of serious faces of hard- 
working men. I had come to talk about the hopeful and optimistic 
things that I had seen in the industrial life of the country; but 
face to face with these men, within sound of the heavy panting of 
great furnaces, within sight of the unpainted, undrained rows 
of company houses which I had" noticed as I came in on the train, 
the memory of many a long and bitter labor struggle that I had 
known of in that valley came to life, and all my pretty tales 
seemed now terribly flimsy. They were so serious, they listened 
so intently to get something; and the tragedy was that I had 
not more to give them. This was my first audience. I never had 
another that made so deep an impression upon me. 

I had not been long on the Circuit before I realized that my 
audience had only a languid interest in my subject, that what 
they were really interested in, wanted to hear and talk about, 
was the War, then ending its second year. But I could not talk 
about the War. Nothing had ever so engulfed me as in a black 
fog, closed my mouth, confused my mind. Chiefly this was be- 
cause of the apparent collapse of organized efforts to persuade 
or to force peaceful settlements of international quarrels. These 
had taken so large a place in the thinking and agitating of the 
liberal-minded with whom I lived that I had begun to delude 
myself that they were actually strong enough to prevent future 
wars. Largely these efforts were the result of the revulsion the 
conflicts of the nineties had caused; the Boer War, the Greco- 
Turkish War, the Spanish War- People who wanted to live in 
peace wrote books, talked, organized societies- national and in- 
ternational, Jane Adclams stirred the English-speaking world by 
her "Newer Ideal* of Peace." William H. Taft, Elihu Root, lead- 


ing public men, educators, combined in one or another society 
advocating this or that form of machinery. 

And while this was going on Theodore Roosevelt was doing 
his best to counteract it by his bold talk of war as a maker of 
men, the only adequate machine for preparing human beings for 
the beneficent strenuous life he advocated. 

What was the American Magazine to do about it? It seemed 
to us that we ought to find some answer to Theodore Roosevelt. 
Certainly we could not do it by promoting organized efforts; 
certainly not by preaching. We must prove him wrong. 

In 1910 our attention was turned to what seemed a possibly 
useful educational effort against war, inaugurated at Stanford 
University by its president, David Starr Jordan. I knew Dr. 
Jordan slightly. His argument for opening the channels of world 
trade in the interest of peace had helped keep up my spirits 
when laboring against the tariff lobbies that so effectively closed 
them. What were they doing in Stanford? It was decided that I 
go out and see; at least there might be material for an article 
or two. Early in 1911 Dr. Jordan arranged that I spend a few 
weeks at the university. He was very cordial, meeting me at 
Los Angeles, where I arrived low in mind and body from an 
attack of influenza. 

There was to be a peace meeting that night Dr. Jordan 
was to speak. They had announced me, and when I reftinecl to 
get out of my bed they took it as proof of indifference to the 
cause. The truth was that the idea of speaking extemporaneously 
was at that time terrifying to me; ill too, I could not, or per- 
haps would not, rally my forces. I would rather be regarded an a 
sneak than attempt It, 

But Dr. Jordan understood and laiighed off my apology, and 
together we made a leisurely trip to Palo Alto. He was a delight- 
ful companion when he felt like talking, as he often did ! There 
was nothing which did not interest him. Looking out of the car 


window, he talked not of peace at all but of birds and trees and 
fishes and Roosevelt and the recent earthquake. 

At Palo Alto I found that the most exciting course then offered 
to the students was the six weeks on war and peace which I had 
come to study. The big assembly room was packed for all the 
public lectures. Among the advanced students following the 
course were several who have since made names for themselves: 
Bruce Bliven, Robert L. Duffus, Maxwell Anderson. 

There was considerable intensive work on special themes. One 
student was collecting war slogans ; another, making a compari- 
son of declarations of war, each of which called God to witness 
that its cause was just. Another student was compiling tables 
showing the yearly increase in the costs of armament in the 
twenty years from 1890 on; another, the economic losses through 
the devastations caused by war; and so on. All interesting and 
useful material. 

But, study the work as closely as I could, I could not for the 
life of me lay my hands on that definite something which the 
American needed. Finally I took my discouragement to Dr. Jor- 
dan, and together we planned collaboration on a series of articles 
to be called "The Case Against War." Dr. Jordan in his auto- 
biography, "The Days of a Man," tells of our scheme and what 
became of it; "crowding events permitted war to frame its own 

In August, 1914, all of the machinery on which peace lovers 
had counted collapsed. The Socialists in a body in every country 
took up arms; so did organised labor, so did the professional 
advocates of peace. 

It was not only this collapse of effort that had stunned me. 
From the hour war was declared I had a sense of doom quite 
inexplicable in so matter-of-fact a person. We should go in ; of 
that, I felt certain. After we did go in John Siddall more than 
once recalled how in August of 1914, when a party of us were 


dining at the then popular Hungarian Restaurant on Houston 
Street, I had said that before the thing was ended the United 
States, the world, would be in. 

"You are a prophet," Siddall would laugh. 

But I was not a prophet. It was the logic of my conviction 
that the world is one, that isolation of nations is as fantastic as 
isolation of the earth from the solar system, the solar system 
from the universe. 

All this made a species of Fabian pacifist of me. I was for any- 
thing that looked to peace, to neutrality, but it was always with 
the hopeless feeling that one simply must do what one can if the 
house is on fire. 

I could not share the hate of Germany, in spite of my pro- 
found devotion to France, my conviction that Germany had be- 
lieved a war of conquest essential to realize what she called her 
destiny, that she had been consciously preparing for it, that she 
thought the Day had come when she could venture it. 

The awful thing seemed too big for hate by puny humans, 
and I was amazed and no little shocked soon after the outbreak 
when, visiting my friend John Burroughs at Squirrel Lodge in 
the Catskills, I found him whom I had always regarded as an 
apostle of peace and light in a continuous angry fever against 
all things German, Woodchucks were troubling his corn* and 
every morning he went out with his gun. "Another damned Hun/* 
he would cry savagely when he returned with his dead game. 

Time did not cure John Burroughs' wrath, for in December,, 
1917, he pledged himself in an open letter published in the 
New York Trib%me never to read a German book, never to buy 
an article of German make. But John Burroughs was not the only 
one of my supposedly gentle-soulcd friends who felt this serious 
necessity to punish not only now but forever. 

I was too befogged to hate or to take part in the organisa- 
tions looking to ending the War which sprang up all about, and 
which I felt so despairingly were all futile. 


There was Mr. Ford's Peace Ship. Mr. Ford had startled me 
one day in the spring of 1915, when in Detroit I was observing 
his methods for making men, by saying suddenly : "You know I 
am rather coming to the conclusion that we ought to join the 
Allies. If we go in we can finish the thing quickly. And that is 
what should be done. As it is now, they will fight to a finish. 
It ought some way to be stopped, and I see no other way." 

Six months later Mr. Ford called me up at my home in New 
York and asked if I would not come to his hotel: he and Miss 
Addams wanted to talk with me. Of course I went at once. 

It is curious how sometimes, when one steps inside a door with- 
out knowing what is behind it, one senses caution. The door was 
open to Mr, Ford's suite nobody in sight, no answer to my 
ring ; but I could hear voices and followed them to a room at the 
end of the hall. Mr. Ford was standing in the corner facing me. 
Before him were two rows of men reporters, I knew. 

"Here, boys, is Miss Tarbell she will go with us," he called. 

"Go where, Mr. Ford?" I asked. 

"Oh," he said, "we are chartering a Peace Ship. We are going 
to Europe and get the boys out of the trenches by Christmas." 

I had a terrible sinking of heart, "Oh, Mr. Ford, I don't think 
I could go on, such an expedition!" 

"Come with me and we will convince you." 

And he led me into a room where Madame Rosika Schwimmer 
and my old friend Fred Howe were talking Jane Addams was 
not there. 

"Tell Miss Tarbell what we are going to do. We want her to 
go along*** And he went back to the reporters. 

I put in one of the most difficult hours of my life. Madame 
Schwimmer argued ably ; so did Mr. Howe ; and all that I could 
aay was, feeling like a poor worm as I said it, "I can't see it." 

When Mr. Ford came back and they told him, "She can't 
see it," I tried to explain my doubts. He listened intently and 
then very gently said, "Don't bother her she'll come." 


On top of this interview came a long telegram followed by a 
longer letter, both signed by Henry Ford. I doubt now if he 
ever saw either of them. Certainly the signature at the foot of 
the letter is not his. I am putting them in here, long as they are, 
because they are important in the history of the Peace Ship, and 
so far as I know have never been printed. Here they are: 

November S4, 1915 

Will you come as my guest aboard the Oscar Second of the 
Scandinavian American Line sailing from New York December 
fourth for Christiania, Stockholm and Copenhagen? I am cabling 
leading men and women of the European Nations to join us 
enroute and at some central point to be determined later estab- 
lish an International Conference dedicated to negotiations lead- 
ing to a just settlement of the War. A hundred representative 
Americans are being invited among whom Jane Addams, Thomas 
A. Edison and John Wanamaker have accepted today. Full let- 
ter follows. With twenty thousand men killed every twenty four 
hours, tens of thousands maimed, homes ruined, another winter 
begun, the time has come for a few men and women with courage 
and energy irrespective of the cost in personal inconvenience, 
money sacrifice and criticism to free the good will of Europe that 
it may assert itself for peace and justice with the strong prob- 
ability that international disarmament can be accomplished. 
Please wire reply, 

November 87, 1915 
Dear Miss Tarbell : 

From the moment I realised that the world situation demands 
immediate action, if we do not want the war fire to spread any 

further, I joined those international forces which are working 
toward ending this unparalleled catastrophe. Tim I recognize 
as my human duty. 

There is full evidence that the carnage, which already has coat 
ten millions of lives, can and is expected to be stopped through 
the agency of a mediating conference of the six disinterested 
European nations, Holland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Switzer- 
land, Spain, and the United States. 

Envoys to thirteen belligerent and neutral European govern- 


ments have ascertained in forty visits that there is a universal 
peace desire. This peace desire, for the sake of diplomatic eti- 
quette, never can be expressed openly, or publicly, until one side, 
or the other, is definitely defeated, or until both sides are entirely 

For fifteen months the people of the world have waited for 
the governments to act; have waited for governments to lead 
Europe out of its unspeakable agony and suffering and to pre- 
vent Europe's entire destruction. As European neutral gov- 
ernments are unable to act without the cooperation of our govern- 
ment, and as our government, for unknown reasons, has not 
offered this cooperation, no further time can be wasted in waiting 
for governmental action. 

In order that their sacrifice may not have been in vain, hu- 
manity owes it to the millions of men led like cattle to the 
slaughter house, that a supreme effort be made to stop this 
wicked waste of life. 

The people of the belligerent countries did not want the war. 
The people did not make it. The people want peace. It is their 
human right to get a chance to make it. The world looks to us, 
to America, to lead in ideals. The greatest mission ever before a 
nation is ours. 

This is why I appealed to you, as a representative of American 
democracy, in my telegram of the twenty-fourth. It is for this 
same reason that I repeat rny appeal to you and urge you to 
join a peace pilgrimage. 

Men and women of our country, representing all of its ideals 
and all of its activities, will start from New York on the 4th 
of December aboard the Scandinavian-American Steamship 
Oscar II. The peace ship that carries the American delegation 
will proceed to Christiania, where Norway's valiant sons and 
daughters will join the crusade. In Stockholm, the ship's com- 
pany will be reinforced by the choicest of Sweden's democracy. 
The crusade will then go on to Copenhagen, where further har- 
bingers of peace will be foregathered. 

These various groups will add such momentum to the crusade 
that when, the pilgrims reach The Hague, with its achievements 
of international justice and comity, the moral power of the peace 
movement will be irresistible. In The Hague we hope to meet 
delegations from Switzerland and from Spain. 


From all these various delegations will be selected a small 
deliberative body which shall sit in one of the neutral^ capitals. 
Here it will be joined by a limited number of authorities of in- 
ternational promise from each belligerent country. This ^Inter- 
national Conference will frame terms of peace, based on justice 
for all, regardless of the military situation. 

This International Conference will be an agency for continu- 
ous mediation. It will be dedicated to the stoppage of this hideous 
international carnage and further dedicated to the prevention 
of future wars through the abolition of competitive armaments. 

In case of a governmental call for an official neutral confer- 
ence before the Peace Ship departs from New York, or even 
reaches European shores, our party will continue on its mission, 
rejoicing that the official gathering has materialised. We will 
then place our united strength solidly behind those entrusted by 
the governments to carry on the peace negotiations. 

In The Hague the members of the Peace Pilgrimage will dis- 
solve. Accommodations will be provided for each one back to 
his home. It is impossible to determine the exact length of time 
the pilgrimage will take. Six weeks, however, should be allowed. 

I respectfully beg of you to respond to the call of humanity 
and join the consecrated spirits who have already signified a 
desire to help make history in a new way. The people of Europe 
cry out to you. 

Information about the meeting 1 place in New York, the hour 
of sailing, the amount of luggage, your accommodation*!, etc., 
will be sent as soon as we have your reply, I should appreciate it 
if you would telegraph your affirmative decision. Will you send 
it to the Hotel Biltmore, Suite 717, New York, our temporary 

Yours for peace 


I have BO copies of my replies, but I know the gist of them 
must have been a heavy-hearted "I can't do it, Mr. Ford." 

The night after my visit to the hotel Miss Addamn called me 
up, and for a half-hour we argued the matter on the telephone. 

All I could say was: "If you see it you must go, Miss Addaras. 
I don*t see it and I can*t It is possible that standing on the 


street corner and crying, 'Peace, Peace, 5 may do good. I do not 
say that it will not, but I cannot see it for myself." 

We were to talk it over in the morning, but that night they 
took her to Chicago, hurried her into a hospital. She was very 
ill. Jane Addams did not go on the Peace Ship. 

Years after, I asked her, "Would you have gone if you had 
not been ill?" 

"I certainly should," she said. "There was a chance, and I was 
for taking every chance." 

She always took every chance when it was a matter of human 
relief. And if she had gone things would have been different on 
the Peace Ship, for she and not Madame Schwimmer would have 
been in command. She saw quite clearly the managerial tendencies 
of Madame Schwimmer, but she saw also her abilities. She was 
not willing because of doubts to throw over a chance to strengthen 
the demand for peace, and she undoubtedly trusted to her own 
long experience in handling people to handle Madame Schwim- 
mer. But she did not go. 

It was a tragedy of hasty action, of attempting a great end 
without proper preparation. Mr. Ford would never have at- 
tempted to build a new type of automobile engine as he attempted 
to handle the most powerful thing in the world the unbridled 
passions of men organised to come to a conclusion by killing 
one another. 

The Peace Ship was a failure; but so were the under-cover 
official efforts the President and his sympathizers then steadily 
pushed. Things grew blacker. The day when we would go in 
seemed always nearer to me. In February of 1916 my depres- 
sion was deepened by hearing Mr. Wilson himself admit it. My 
friends Secretary and Mrs. Daniels had been so gracious as to 
include me among their guests at the Cabinet dinner they were 
giving in honor of tine President and the new Mrs. Wilson. 

We were all standing in the Daniels drawing room waiting 
their arrival I was talking so interestedly with somebody that 


I had forgotten what it was all about, when 1 was conscious of 
a distinguished pair in the doorway. It took me an instant to 
remember what we were there for, and that this was the Presi- 
dent and his lady. How they looked the part ! 

At the dinner table the President was gay, telling stories, 
quoting limericks. Later, when it came my turn to talk to him 
and I told him how charming I had found Mrs. Wilson's ani- 
mation and lively wit, he rather eagerly fell to talking of her 
and, to my amazed delight, of the difficulties of courting a lady 
when each time he calls the house is surrounded by secret serv- 
ice men! 

Dropping his gaiety, he told me a little of the situation at the 
moment. "I never go to bed without realising that I may be 
called up by news that will mean that we are at war. Before 
tomorrow morning we may be at war. It is harder because the 
reports that come to us must be kept secret. Hasty action, in- 
discretion might plunge us into a dangerous situation when a 
little care would entirely change the face of things. My great 
duty is not to see red." 

I carried away from that dinner a feeling of the tremendous 
difficulty, of the tremendous threat under which we lived, and 
of a man that had steeled himself to see us through. It strength- 
ened my confidence in him. 

But of all this I could say nothing on my Ohautauqxm circuit, 
even when I began to realize that, more than anything cine, these 
people were interested in the War, 

One of the most convincing proofs I received of thin came 
from things I overheard at night. We ended our circuit with & 
siege of terrific heat the kind of heat that made sloop impos- 
sible. The best room you could get wan generally on the second- 
floor front. You pulled your bed to the window, and lay with 
your head practically out; but if you could not sleep you would 
certainly be entertained, for on the sidewalks below there would 
gather, around nine-thirty or ten, a little group of 


who had come downtown after supper "to see a man/' Shopkeep- 
ers, laborers, traveling men, lawyers, and occasional preachers 
and hotel keepers would sit out talking war, preparedness, neu- 
trality, Wilson, Hughes, for half the night. 

"Look at them, 35 said a talkative Congressional candidate. 
"Four years ago I could have told how practically every one of 
the men in this town would vote in November. I can't do it to- 
day. Nobody can. They are freed from partisanship, as I could 
never have believed. They are out there now thrashing over Wil- 
son and Hughes, and not 25 per cent of them know which it 
will be when election day comes." 

More and more I came to feel that you could count on these 
people for any effort or sacrifice that they believed necessary. 
One of the most revealing things about a country is the way it 
takes the threat of war. Just after we started, the call for troops 
for Mexico came. It seemed as if war were inevitable. There was 
no undue excitement where we traveled, but boys in khaki seemed 
to spring out of the ground. 

I shall never forget one scene, which was being duplicated in 
many places in that region. We were in an old mountain town 
in Pennsylvania. Our hotel was on the public square, a small 
plot encircled by a row of dignified, old-fashioned buildings. In 
the center stood a band-stand, and beside it a foolish little stone 
soldier mounted on an overhigh pedestal a Civil War monu- 
ment. We were told, that on the square at half -past nine in the 
evening a town meeting would be called to say good-bye to the 
boys who were "off to Mexico on the ten-thirty." "How many of 
them?" I asked. "One hundred and thirty-five," was the answer. 
And this was a town of not over twenty-eight hundred people. 

As the hour approached, the whole town gathered. It came 
quietly, as if for some natural weekly meeting ; but a little before 
ten o'clock we heard the drum and fife, and down the street 
came a procession that set my heart thumping. Close beside the 
City Fathers and speakers came a do^en old soldiers, some of 


them in faded blue, two or three on crutches, and behind them 
the boys, one hundred and thirty-five of them sober, consciously 
erect, their eyes straight ahead, their step so full of youth. 

The procession formed before the little stone soldier, who 
somehow suddenly became anything but foolish; he took on dig- 
nity and power as had the boys in rank boys whom, if I had 
seen them the day before, I might have called unthinking, shift- 
less, unreliable. The mayor, the ministers, a former Congressman, 
all talked. There was a prayer, the crowd in solemn tones sang 
"My Country, ? Tis of Thee." There was a curt order ; the pro- 
cession re-formed; the old soldiers led the way, and the town 
followed the boys to the "ten-thirty." 

Nothing could have equaled the impression made by the quiet- 
ness and the naturalness of the proceedings. Beside the continu- 
ous agitations and hysteria to which the East had treated us in 
the last two and a half years, this dignity, this immediate ac- 
tion, this willingness to see it through, gave one a solemn sense 
of the power and trustworthiness of this people. It was a realisa- 
tion that I should have been willing to pay almost any price to 
come to. Certainly it more than paid me for my forty-nine nights 
in forty-nine different beds. 

Eight months later this impression of the steadiness of the 
people under the threat of war was deepened. After my Ghau- 
tauqua circuit, which I had supposed to be a temporary adven- 
ture, the lecture bureau asked to book me for a month of lyeeum 
work, most of it in the Middle West. Late in January of 1917 I 
started out. 

I was on the road when the break with Germany came. Our 
evening papers of February 3rd had the digest of the "President's 
speech to Congress. The next Sunday morning there was the full 
text. I went out to walk early that morning, and one of the first 
things I saw was a lively row in front of a barber shop. Inquir- 
ing, I found that a big Swede had expressed sympathy with the 


Kaiser, and was being thrown into the street. At the hotel, my 
chambermaid, the elevator boy, the table waiter, did not wait 
for me to introduce the subject. Everybody was talking about 
what the break meant war of course. They were ready, they 

As the days went on, I found that was the opinion of every- 
body. One morning I landed at a railway junction town, with 
no train until late afternoon. It was a forlorn place at any time, 
but deadly now, with the thermometer around twenty below. 
A friendly ticket agent warned me that the only hotel was no 
place for ladies, and sent me off into the territory beyond the 
railroad shops to a dingy-looking house which, he said, was kept 
by a woman who was clean and decent. It was anything but invit- 
ing on the outside, but travelers who are choosers are poor 
sports. The woman gave me a room and, following the only wis- 
dom for the lecturer who would keep himself fit, I went to bed. 
It was four o'clock in the afternoon when I came down. The 
woman of the house, whom I had found in the morning rubbing 
out clothes, was in a fresh gingham dress, sitting in the living 
room reading the Chicago Tribune. Beside her lay a copy of the 
Record Herald, I found that this woman since the beginning of 
the trouble in Europe had been reading full details in these ad- 
mirably edited newspapers. She had not been for a war, she said, 
until they went back on their word. 

"That settled it for everybody out here. Now," she said, "there 
is nothing else to do." 

I do not know how often I heard those words in the days that 
followed- When the President said of America in closing his ad- 
dress to Congress on April SS, 1917, "God helping her she can 
do no other," he was only expressing that to which the majority 
of the people of the West, as I heard them, had made up their 

Closely watching, I personally felt utterly remote. There was 


nothing for me to do. In the pandemonium of opinion nothing I 
could say or do would hinder or help, and so I went on with my 
daily rounds. 

I was speaking at a big dinner in Cleveland early in April when 
a telegram was handed to me, signed by the President. It ap- 
pointed me a member of what he called the Woman's Committee 
of the Council of National Defense. 

I did not know what the appointment meant, but when your 
Government is trying to put through a war, whether you approve 
or not, I had long ago concluded that as for me I would do 
whatever I was asked to do. And so I sent at once an acceptance 
of what I took as an order. Two weeks later I received my first 
instructions. They came from the head of the committee, Dr. 
Anna H. Shaw. 


WHAT Is it all about? That is what we asked ourselves when on 
May 2nd, answering the call of our chairman Dr. Anna Shaw, 
we met in Washington. And where were we to sit? We were but 
one of many anxious, confused, scrambling committees for which 
a place must be found. Our predicament was settled by finding 
a room somewhere on Pennsylvania Avenue a dreary room with 
a rough table and not enough chairs to go around. My first con- 
tribution to winning the War was looting chairs from adjacent 
offices. My success gave me hope that after all I might be at 
least an errand boy in the war machine. 

It was not long, however, before the Woman's Committee was 
a beneficiary of the civilian outbreak of patriotic generosity 
which had swept Washington. "You may have our house, our 
apartment," people cried. A fine and spacious old house close to 
Connecticut Avenue facing the British Embassy was offered us, 
a much more comfortable and dignified headquarters than I think 
we expected under the conditions. We remained there throughout 
the War. 

But what were we there for? The Administration had called 
us into being. What did it expect of us? It was quickly obvious 
that what it wanted at the moment was an official group to which 
it could refer the zealous and importuning women who wanted to 
"help, 55 the various organizations already mobilizing women for 
action. Considerable rivalry had developed between them, and it 
was certain, to become more and more embarrassing. Our commit- 
tee had been cleverly organized to spike this rivalry, including 
as it did the presidents of the leading national groups of women : 
the National Suffrage Society, the Women's Federation of Clubs, 



the National Women's Council, the Colonial Dames, the Na- 
tional League for Women's Service. Everybody in the list repre- 
sented something except myself. I was a lone journalist with no 
active connection with any organization or publication. I was 
conscious that that was against me in the committee though ap- 
parently it had not been in the minds of President Wilson and 
Secretary Baker. 

We were not an independent body, but one of the many sub- 
sidiaries of the Council of National Defense, the managing head 
of which was the present president of the American Telephone 
and Telegraph Company, Walter Gifford a man of intelligence, 
sense, amazing self-control and patience. This I had reason to 
know, as I frequently represented the committee before him. 

The fact that we had to go to men for orders irritated Dr 
Shaw from the start. She felt we ought to be able to decide for 
ourselves what women should do, or at least she, the head of the 
committee, should sit on the Council of National Defense. I think 
Dr. Anna never quite forgave the Administration for subjecting 
us to the directions of man, whose exclusive authority in world 
affairs she had so long disputed. 

Our mandate had been to consider women's defense work for 
the nation. But what were we to do with the results of our con- 
sideration, our recommendations? Our conclusion was that we 
must find a way to get them to the women of the country. To 
do that, we must coordinate the various agencies represented in 
our body, enlist others, create a channel for the Government's 
requests and orders. It meant organization. Here we were strong, 
for Dr. Shaw and Carrie Chapman Catt were the most experi- 
enced and successful organisers of women in the country* More- 
over, they could command not only the organizations which they 
had created but, through their partners on the committee, other 
great national groups. To me the way that organisation came 
into existence so quickly and so quietly was magic, unaccustomed 
as I was to organization in any form* It was not long before 


every state, every county, practically every community, had a 
branch of the Woman's Committee of the Council of National 
Defense. Before the year was up there were states which in twenty- 
four hours after receiving our requests could pass them down to 
their remotest corner. 

From the start the committee worked Dr. Anna saw to that. 
She and Mrs. Catt settled down in Washington. For myself I 
canceled two book contracts, determined to do what I could, in- 
definite as the task seemed. We met regularly; we kept office 
hours; we were keen to make something of our job. 

The committee took it for granted that we were to handle the 
food problem already looming so large. By midsummer we had 
our organizations everywhere, planting and hoeing. On top of 
this came dehydration, and we had many hot discussions about 
the best method. I remember a morning when the committee gave 
itself over to reminiscences of helping grandmother string ap- 
ples for drying, of the way mother dried corn and berries. 

Then came canning the larder was to be full. We were pretty 
well under way and rather proud of ourselves, thinking this was 
a special job, when Herbert Hoover came back from feeding 
Europe and was put at the head of the American Food Admin- 
istration in a building of his own, practically a dictator of the 
food of America, Obviously Mr. Hoover was the one man in the 
world who could properly manage the huge and many-sided job; 
but it caused considerable heartburning in the Woman's Com- 
mittee that gardening and canning and drying should not be 
left entirely to us. Were we not already in the field? Had we not 
an organization which was rapidly extending to the last woman 
in the country? Were they not digging and planting and can- 
ning and saving? But in spite of Dr. Anna's bristling opposition 
we were soon put in our place, made an auxiliary. It fell to me 
to act as liaison officer, which amounted to nothing more than 
finding out at food headquarters what they wanted from women 
and panning it on. 


What we soon had contrived to become, thanks largely to 
Dr. Anna and Mrs. Catt, was a free channel through which we 
could pour speedily and uninterruptedly any request which came 
to us from any department of the war machine. We developed 
a disciplined army with other things to do than knitting and 
bandage making, gardening and canning, essential and important 
as these were. 

Our most useful service, as I see it, was a growing activity 
in preventing the machinery of daily life from rusting in the 
storm of war. Take the women going in droves into industry. 
For the most part they were as untrained as the boys drafted 
into the Army, as willing as these to take it, throw themselves 

Jane Addams had said to me at the beginning of the War; 
"Everything that we have gained in the way of social legislation 
will be destroyed. It will throw us back where we were twenty- 
five years ago." 

That did not seem to me to be necessary nor indeed to be the 
way things were already going. Take this woman in industry 
for whom Miss Addams was especially alarmed. Recruiting for 
munition factories had been pushed before we went into the War 
by the National League for Woman's Service, of which Maude 
Wetmore, a member of the Woman's Committee, was chairman, 
As early as March, 1917, the league was at work in the Depart- 
ment of Labor. Soon after war was declared the President and 
the Secretaries of War and Labor called for general gup port of 
labor laws for women as well as for men. Mrs. J. Borden Ilarri- 
man was soon made chairman of a committee on women in indus- 
try of the Council of National Defense, About the same time 
our committee created a department to handle the problem and 
was given a tenth member from the ranks of organized women- 
Miss Agnes Nestor of Chicago, a leader in the glove workers' 
union. We were a little concerned about the new appointee, but 
Miss Nestor from the start was one of the most useful members 


of the committee wise and patient in understanding all prob- 
lems though naturally concentrated chiefly on her own, which 
were grave enough, because of the rapid multiplication of agen- 
cies with their unavoidable rivalries and jealousies. 

The determination not only to protect woman in her new ca- 
pacity but educate her, thrust her ahead, was strong. Representa- 
tives of organized women met in Kansas City in June demanding 
new standards for war contracts. The upshot was that Florence 
Kelley was made a member of the Board of Control of Labor 
standards for Army Clothing. Things went rapidly after that. A 
woman's division was created in January in the United States 
Employment Service with Mrs. H. M. Richard at its head. About 
the same time Mary Van Kleedk was made head of a woman's 
branch in the Ordnance Service and our Agnes Nestor, who had 
by this time become generally recognized for her intelligence and 
steadiness, was appointed on the newly formed advisory council 
to the Secretary of Labor in war labor legislation. 

Agnes Nestor and Mary Anderson, the present head of the 
Women's Bureau of the Department of Labor, demonstrated as 
I had never seen it the education to be had in a labor organiza- 
tion which seeks by arbitration and more arbitration and still 
more arbitration to improve its situation without weakening the 
industry by which it lives, one that appeals to force only as a 
last resort, never as a mere threat. 

What all this amounts to is that through the activities of 
women in and out of industry there was a steady clarification 
and strengthening of our position. 

The chief service of the Woman's Committee in the matter was 
seeing that full information of what was going on was sent broad- 
cast. MIBS Ncstot'e reports reached women in quarters where 
labor standards had probably never been heard of* In our bulle- 
tins we kept up a constant stream of news items of what women 
were doing in industry not only in this country but in others. 
To make our vast horde conscious of the needs of sisters at the 


machine, eager to support what the Government had decided 
was right and just for her protection, was our aim. We did our 
part in proving that even in war determined women can not only 
prevent backward movements but even move forward. 

Similar to what we did for the woman in industry was the 
help we were able to give to the Children's Bureau. Julia Lathrop, 
its head, told us how its work was falling behind: playgrounds 
in many places given up, maternity work shut down. Could we 
help to stem this backward flow? We turned our machinery at 
once to the support of the bureau. Women in districts where its 
work had never been known were aroused to establish nursing 
centers, look after maternity cases, interest themselves afresh in 
what was happening to children. It was a work of education as 
well as of renewal. 

Julia Lathrop told me one day just before the committee went 
out of existence that the work of her bureau had been extended 
more in the few months that we had been promoting it than it 
could have been with their machinery in as many years, 

As the effectiveness of our national channel began to be under- 
stood, naturally enough all sorts of requests came to help out 
in putting over this or that scheme, to grant favors for this or 
that friend. While the majority of such efforts were entirely 
legitimate, there were some of dubious character. 

I recall an amusing illustration of the latter. Just after war 
began to take its toll the Gold Star Mothers were organised, 
arid our committee was asked to prepare an official arm band 
with a gold star or stars. The idea had not been noised about 
before a gentleman high in the counsels of the nation came to iw 
with the request that we make the badge not of black as decided 
but purple -purple velvet. His reason was that a friend of his, 
a manufacturer of velvet, had on hand some thousands of yardtt 
of purple velvet which he would like to dispose of. We did not see 
our way to change our choice of color and material 


A request which led to a peck of trouble for me came from the 
two persons in the country I least expected to look to us for 
help Loie Fuller and Sam Hill, friends of Queen Marie of Ru- 
mania. If I remember correctly they wanted us to bring her over 
in the interest of the Allied cause. We compromised by promising 
to send her a message of sympathy. I was commissioned to see 
that it was properly illuminated, and through my affiliation with 
the Pen and Brush Club of New York, a group of women writers 
and artists, a really beautiful parchment roll was turned out. 
We were so pleased with it that we had one made for Queen 
Elisabeth of Belgium. 

But how were we going to get them to the Queens? Mr. Gifford 
of the Council was unsympathetic. No one would have dared 
suggest to Mr. Lansing that the State Department interest itself. 
The War Department could not be expected to carry them. 
Those messages lay about the Woman's Committee for weeks a 
burden and finally a joke, a burden and a joke which was thrown 
on my shoulders when in January of 1919 I went to Paris for 
observation for the Red Cross Magazine. Surely in Paris there 
would be some way of delivering them. It was Robert Bliss of 
our Embassy who came to my help in the case of Queen Marie, 
and much to my relief passed the roll on to a representative of 
the Rumanian Government, I understood, although I never had 
any diplomatic assurance that it really landed on the desk of the 

As to the message to Queen Elisabeth, Mrs. Vernon Kellogg, 
who was persona grata with the Queen, was in Paris and, know- 
ing that she was going back to Brussels, I hastened to her with 
my roll, told her my predicament, begged her to take it off my 
handn, which she kindly did. And that was the last I heard of the 
messages to the Queens. 

By the end of our first year I was persuaded that the making 
of a permanent Federal agency lay in the Woman's Committee. 


I took my notion to the Secretary of the Interior, Franklin Lane, 
who had proved a helpful friend of the committee in moments of 

"Why," I asked, "could not the present Woman's Committee 
be continued after the War in the Department of the Interior? 
Why could it not be put under a woman assistant secretary and 
used as a channel to carry to women in the last outposts of the 
country knowledge of what the various departments of the Gov- 
ernment are doing for the improvement of the life of the people? 
You know how limited is the reach of many of the findings of the 
bureaus of research, of their planning for health and education 
and training? Why not do for peace what we are doing for war?" 

Secretary Lane was interested, but in the committee itself 
there was little response* Dr. Anna pooh-poohed it. It was too 
limited a recognition. What she wanted was a representative in 
the Cabinet, and she was unwilling to take anything else, 

It is possible that Dr. Anna did not want to encourage ideas 
concerning women from a woman as lukewarm as I had always 
been in the matter of suffrage. She wanted a committee as actively 
interested in pushing ahead the cause of votes for women as it was 
in defense work, in protecting women and children. From her 
point of view the cause was as vital as protecting women in indus- 
tries, indeed essential to that problem. 

There was only one other woman on the committee as luke- 
warm as I in the matter of suffrage, and that was one of our 
most valuable and distinguished members Mrs, Joseph Lamar 
of Atlanta, the widow of Justice Lamar of the Supreme Court 
of the United States. Mrs, Lamar and I saw eye to eye as a rule 
in the work of the committee, and we both felt it should keep 
out of suffrage work. Not so easy for old-time national leaders 
like Dr. Anna and Mrs. Catt, with militant suffragists picket- 
ing the White House, begging for arrest; but they showed ad- 
mirable restraint. Indeed, I believe that restraint to have been 
in the long run the soundest politics. It certainly helped in bring- 


ing both Houses of the Congress to accept the Nineteenth Amend- 
ment in the early summer of 1919, giving nation-wide suffrage 
to women. 

Dr. Anna's attitude towards me was quite understandable. 
She was familiar with and resented, as she told me quite frankly, 
certain activities of mine which had conflicted with both her con- 
victions and her arguments activities which had been a surprise 
and a regret to many of those whose opinions I valued highly, 

I had always resented the pains that militant suffragists took 
to belittle the work that woman had done in the past in the world, 
picturing her as a meek and prostrate "doormat." They refused, 
I felt, to pay proper credit to the fine social and economic work 
that women had done in the building of America. And in 1909, 
after we took over the Americtm Magazine, I burst out with a 
scries of studies of leading American women from the Revolution 
to the Civil War, including such stalwarts as Mercy Warren, 
Abigail Adams, Esther Reed, Mary Lyon, Catharine Beecher, 
the fighting antislavery leaders not omitting two for whom I 
had warm admiration, if I was not in entire agreement with them, 
Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony. 

I thought I made a pretty good showing, but I found it was 
not welcome. And on top of that I settled my position in the minds 
of Dr. Anna and many of her friends by a series of little essays 
which I finally brought together under the title of "The Business 
of Being a Woman." That title was like a red rag to many of 
my militant friends. The idea that woman had a business as- 
signed by nature and society which was of more importance than 
public life disturbed them ; even if it was so, they did not want 
it emphasised. 

Feeling as I did, I could not fight for suffrage, although I did 
not fight against it. Moreover, I believed that it would come be- 
cause in the minds of most people democracy is a piece of ma- 
chinery, its motive power the ballot. The majority of the advo- 
cates for women's suffrage saw regeneration, a new world through 


laws and systems ; but I saw democracy as a spiritual faith. I did 
not deny that it must be interpreted in laws and systems, but 
their work deepens, broadens, only as the spirit grows. What I 
feared in women was that they would substitute the letter for the 
spirit, weaken the strategic place Nature and society had given 
them for keeping the spirit alive in the democracy, elevating it 
to the head of the procession of life, training youth for its place. 
But what chance had such ideas beside the practical program of 
the suffragist? 

My arguments again had no emotional stuff in them. They 
carried no promise of speedily remaking the hard life most 
women were living, had always lived. The suffragists pictured 
a society renewed, regenerated, stripped of corruption and in- 
justice, all done by a single stroke giving votes to women. They 
would never betray the trust the old fiction to which they held 
so tenaciously that women are by nature "better" than, men and 
need only the chance in politics to clear society of its corruption. 
I could not agree. 

It is not to be wondered that Dr* Anna suspected me, had a 
certain resentment at my being a member of her committee. In 
spite of all this, as the months went on she and I became better 
and better friends. She was so able, so zealous, so utterly given 
to her cause that I had always had genuine admiration for her, 
Now I found her a most warm-hearted and human person, as well 
as delightfully salty in her bristling against men and their ways, 

An event in the history of our committee was a grand evening 
gathering in one of Washington's theaters. We all Hat in state 
on the platform, and in the boxes were several member*) of the 
Cabinet with President Wilson himself, for a part of the evening 
at least. Dr. Anna made a capital &peech, little antiraaseuline 
chips flying off her shoulder every now* and then, to the par- 
ticular delight of the President. 

"Dr. Anna," I told her the next day, "you are one of the most 
provocative women I have ever known, an out-and-out flirt?* But 


we were good enough friends by this time for her to laugh. I am 
not sure but she was a bit flattered. 

When the work of the committee was over and she was sending 
out her final report, thanking each of us officially for our part 
in what I always think of as her achievement, she included in 
mine a hand-written personal letter which I shall always treasure 
as a proof of the bigness and the beauty of the nature of this 
splendid woman. 

Evidently she remembered how she had sputtered at me some- 
times. "You talk too much. Miss Tarbell." True I always do 
if I have a listening audience. "I hate a lukewarm person," she 
declared when I persisted in balancing arguments. She did; she 
had never known for a moment in her life the frustration, the 
perplexities of lukewarmness. 

But now she wrote thanking me for what she called "my con- 
sideration and kindness" toward what she called her "blunders 
and mistakes." Just what she meant, I do not know. It was 
enough for me that she should end with "sincere and affectionate 
regard" enough because I knew she understood what I had 
never put into words, that for her I had never had anything but 
a sincere regard a regard which our associations had turned to 
real affection* 

The only professional work I did in this period was a few 
weeks of lecturing, a contract which I had made before we went 
into the War. 

I have spoken of the quietness and steadiness with which peo- 
ple through the country seemed to me to be taking the call for 
troops in 1916 when I was on the Chautauqua circuit of the 
conviction I had as I saw them in the Middle West on the declara- 
tion of war in April of 1917, that they had already made up 
their minds, were ready to go. 

But I confess I was unprepared for what I everywhere met 
early in 1918, traveling chiefly in the South, the Middle West, 
and the Southwest. The country was no longer quiet, no longer 


reflective. On every street corner, around every table, it was 
fighting the War, watchfully, suspiciously, determinedly. All 
the paraphernalia of life had taken on war coloring; the plat- 
forms from which I spoke were so swathed in flags that I often 
had to watch my step entering and leaving. I found I was ex- 
pected to wear a flag not a corsage. At every lunch or dinner 
where I was a guest all declarations were red, white, and blue. 

When you are on a lecture trip one of your few resources is 
the newsstand. I had the habit of searching the postal-card 
racks for local points of interest local celebrations. But now 
all these had disappeared. The racks were filled with pictures of 
soldiers in all of their scores of operations, humble and otherwise 
not only on parade, but on "spud duty." There were thrilling 
pictures of cavalry charges, of marches across country, of aero- 
planes directing field maneuvers, touching scenes in hospitals, 
cheering ones of games, endless sentimental ones to be sent to 
the boys. 

A change had come over the literature of the newsstands. Seri- 
ous magazines I had never before seen in certain sotithwestern 
towns were there now. "Anything that pertains to patriotism is a 
good seller," a railroad station news agent told me. "Why, look 
at the books we carry !" And there they were, Hankey, Empcy, 
Boyd Cable, disputing attention with "Slashaway, the Fearless," 
"Gunpowder Jim," "The Mystery of Demon Hollow." 

The libraries of scores of towns made a specialty of war books. 
At Council Bluffs an old, large, rich, and cultivated town of 
course I found on an open shelf beside the librarian's desk 
Hazcn's "Modern European History," John Maucfield's "Gal- 
lipoli," "The Old Front Line," Andr6 CWradame's essays, Hucf- 
fer's "Between St. Denis and St. George," and a score of others. 
They all showed signs of much reading. 

As for the newspapers, they were given over to the war. It 
was my duty to make sure that they were giving the releases 
of our committee fair attention. They were the local women 


were attending to that. Editors might and did grumble because 
Washington was swamping them with information and sugges- 
tions which often they felt were "old stuff," repetition ; but they 
sweated to do their part. 

The editorial attitude was not characterized by excessive re- 
spect for great names, particularly if the great name was that 
of an enemy. I was in Texas when the Zimmermann note was 
given out by the President. Nothing could have been more amus- 
ing than the contemptuous attitude of the average Texan citizen 
whom I met. Some of the country newspapers did not even take 
the trouble to print the gentleman's name, but called him "Zim." 
You received the impression that a German- Japanese attack on 
our Southwest border would be a very simple matter for Texans 
to clean up. All they asked, I was told, was for Uncle Sam to 
keep his hands off. They would take care of it. There was little 
anger but much contempt. 

Everywhere the boys were the absorbing interest. In the South- 
west and along the Atlantic coast I practically lived with them. 
They crowded every railroad station, hustled into every train. 
There was rarely a night that I was not wakened by their de- 
manding beds in already overflowing sleepers. Troo'p trains 
passed you en, route, all sorts of slogans scribbled in chalk on 
the cars. From wherever they came they were sure to announce 
that they were bound for Berlin. 

It is of course beside the truth to say that all young soldiers 
were big and cheerful and spirited and brave; but the total im- 
pression was certainly one of bigness, of freedom, and of exulta- 
tion in the enterprise. One came to have a fierce pride in them, 
an impatience of any criticism of what they did, a longing to 
fight for them, since one could not fight beside them. 

Crossing the Apache Trail in March of 1918, we picked up 
three silent, rough youths who had come from somewhere out 
of the desert, and were making for camp to enlist. They were 
fascinating traveling companions, shy, watchful, suspicious, dis- 


covering for the first time the ordinary arrangements of railroad 
life. I remember a wonderful young savage with whom I trav- 
eled for a day. We were depending on eating houses for food 
and woke up to find our train six hours late. This meant no 
breakfast until possibly eleven o'clock. Of course the boy was 
famished. He ate ravenously and then bought right and left 
sandwiches, pie, hard-boiled eggs, an armful of packages. You 
could almost hear him saying to himself, "They arc not going 
to catch me again." They had put one over on him, but next time 
he would be ready for them. 

The interest of the boys in what was before them was unflag- 
ging. They were not afraid to talk about the worst. When the 
Tuscania went down, those bound for sailing points were not 
fazed in the least by the danger of the passage ; but more than 
once I felt that the tragedy had whetted their desire to get at 
the enemy. 

The interest of older men in the young soldier was inexhaust- 
ible. They were like the little boys in that. Little boys could not 
resist a soldier. It was startling to see a baby of three years slip 
away from his mother, walk down the aisle to where a soldier 
boy was sitting, watch him silently with wide-open eyes, get a 
little bolder, stretch out his hand and stroke his clothes, get a 
little bolder still and ask him if he might put on his cap. 

Soldier or not soldier, however, the men talked war, talked it 
all the time when they were not reading their newspapers. How 
the news filtered to them in certain remote spots, it wa hard 
to understand. la crossing the Apache Trail I was startled to 
see a man rise from the desert, as it seemed, and ask if we had 
any more news about "them big guns," if anybody had found 
out "how they do it? 5 We gave him all the papers we had, and 
the passengers freely aired their theories of the mystery* 

With the inexhaustible interest went a fierce determination to 
see that every suggestion of the Government was carried out. 


When the Third Liberty Loan opened I was traveling in a sec- 
tion where there were many German settlers. 

"What is their attitude? 55 I asked a woman active in the work 
of our committee. 

"We have but one family in this town," she said. "After being 
waited on by five of our leading citizens they took $10,000 of 
Liberty Bonds." 

I do not know whether these citizens carried ropes in their 
hands when they made the call, but I did see in one town a de- 
tachment of citizens parading with ropes on the pummels of their 
saddles and banners marked "Beware." 

It had been agreed by all concerned that I talk on what was 
doing in Washington as I had been seeing it. Now and then I 
was "lent" by my sponsor to aid in a drive of one kind or an- 
other. Once I spoke from the platform of "Oklahoma Billy Sun- 
day," a picturesque and highly successful revivalist who pat- 
terned his campaigns after those of his great namesake. A liberty 
loan drive was on, and no gathering, not even, a revival, certainly 
not a lecture, was allowed in the town which did not share its 
time with the grim banker heading the local committee. He 
opened the meeting and left me shivering with what might hap- 
pen to those who differed with him about the size of their pur- 
chase. Then came boisterous singing and praying, broken to let 
me tell my story. How dull and uninspired it sounded, sand- 
wiched between this goading and inflaming ! 

I realized more and more as I went on that I did not really 
know much more of my subject than they did in Bisbee, Arizona, 
or Little Rock, Arkansas, so persistently did they tap every 
source of information; but I certainly knew fewer things that 
were not so. It was inevitable that, stirred to their depths by the 
continuous flow of all this young life towards the battle fields of 
Europe, they should "see red," hate, suspect. I could neither give 
them the inside information they craved nor stir them to the hate 


of which they had absolute need, I sometimes felt, to keep up 
their courage. 

"Are you a pacifist?" a stern citizen on a Missouri railway 
platform asked me one morning as I was leaving a town where 
I had spoken the night before, and where I had deplored the 
will to hate I was sensing. 

"Well," I parried, "I am for winning this war." 

"Did you sign this?" He pulled out a prewar list of names, a 
peace society list where my name appeared. It was headed by 
Jane Addams "that woman," he called her. 

"I am proud to be classed with *that woman,' " I said indig- 
nantly. "She is one of the world's greatest, and if the world 
could or would have heeded her counsels you boys would not be 
dying in France." 

There was no time for argument or arrest, for my train came. 
I took it, followed by the black looks of more than one listener. 

But it was the boys that were doing this. They had given of 
their blood, and their hearts went with the gift. They were all 
like an old fellow that I heard cry out one day, "I can't bear 
to think of one of Ours gettin' hurt." 

It would be idle of course to pretend that in the territory over 
which I traveled between the break with Germany and the Armis- 
tice in twenty-five different states, something like twenty-five 
thousand miles there were no indications of revolt; but, as I 
saw them, they were infrequent and never in public. Now and 
then I came upon a man or woman who dared to say to me when 
he had me in a corner: "I am a pacifist. We must find another 
way." With which I so heartily agreed. But that man or woman 
would not have said that on the street corner without danger to 
his life. 

People generally did not have much interest in what was to 
happen after the War was ended. They took it for granted that 
Germany would be driven back. That was what they were work- 
ing for. But how the adjustments were to be made that did not 


deeply concern them. What they wanted was to have it over and 
get the boys back. That done, they were willing to forget, pay 
the bill but there must be no more of this senseless business in 
the world. Even the most violent occasionally confided that to you. 
All these observations of which I talked, I am afraid too 
much, to the members of the committee when I came back 
strengthened my conviction that, whatever it cost, there was no 
doubt that the country would insist on seeing it through. That 
conviction was never stronger than when the Armistice was sud- 
denly signed. 


THE War was over and the United States was setting the brakes 
on its war machinery, setting them so hurriedly in some cases 
that they created situations almost as destructive as war. There 
was nothing left now for the Woman's Committee of the Council 
of National Defense but to clean up and move out. Dr. Anna 
stayed by while an admirable executive secretary and a small 
clerical force put things into order, reported what had been, 
done, thanked everybody for his or her cooperation. 

By the end of the year my desk had been cleared and I was 
preparing for a new job, to go to France for the Red Cross 
Magazine. My old editor, John S. Phillips, had been in charge 
there for some months, making a really significant and stimulat- 
ing journal. He wanted a fresh eye on the rehabilitation work 
the organization was carrying on in France. He thought I might 
furnish it. I agreed to try. 

Crossing the ocean in January, 1919, gave one some notions 
of what war had done to the accustomed orderly procedure of 
life. I was to sail to Bordeaux at a fixed hour; but no whip as 
yet went on time, though passengers were expected to arrive on 
time and to sit for hours as we were locked in the waiting room 
at the dock. At least it gave you an opportunity to eye an a whole 
those who were to be your fellow passengers. Everybody on my 
ship was evidently connected with some problem of restoration, 
the most interesting being the French bent on rehabilitating fam- 
ilies they feared were stripped of everything. They were even 
taking food. As we waited a woman who guarded two enormous 
hams explained to me that her mother had begged her to bring 
a jambon* She had not had a jambon for so long- It was a new 



idea to me, I knew that sweets would be welcome to my friends, 
and I had armed myself with chocolates and bonbons; but a 
jambon! Why should I not take one to my dear Madame Maril- 
lier? Securing a permit to leave the dock, I hunted up a neigh- 
boring market and after much negotiation persuaded a whole- 
sale dealer to sell me a ham, almost as big as I was. It was a 
problem to get it into the ship, but it was more of a problem to 
get it off, get it to Paris. I had queer ideas of what I might need 
in the way of luggage, and in my equipment was a pair of enor- 
mous saddlebags into which I had thrown high boots, heavy 
blankets, sweaters, woolen tights and hose just in case. Crowd- 
ing them all into one bag, into the other I put my jambon. In 
the long and tedious railroad journey from Bordeaux to Paris, 
I was packed in with a group of fine serious young Quakers going 
over to help a reconstruction project, and that terrible piece of lug- 
gage jumped from the rack and almost brained one of my com- 
panions. I cannot recall all the adventures of that ham, but I 
know that I was never more relieved than when I laid it at the 
feet of rny old friend. 

"What in the world?" she exclaimed (or its equivalent). And 
Scignobos said, "Oh, these Americans." 

I was not long in Paris before I felt keenly that many of the 
French were saying, "Oh, these Americans!" We seemed to 
swarm over everything, to absorb things. At least this was true 
in the quarters where, at the urgency of my friends Auguste 
Jaccaci and William Allen White, I had gone to live the Hotel 
de Vouillemont just off the Place de la Concorde, 

Walking down the Rue de Rivoli to the Red Cross Headquar- 
ters was like walking the streets of Washington in the vicinity 
of the governmental departments active in the prosecution of the 
War. All the familiar faces seemed to have been transported to 
Paris, aa indeed great numbers of them had. Mingling with them 
were officers and men on leave, many seeking desperately to 
drown ghastly memories In any form of pleasure that would bring 


forgetfulness, more of them intent on sightseeing, buying gifts 
to take home. I found the pleasantest duty my Red Cross uni- 
form brought me in Paris was when stalwart doughboys accosted 
me. "Say, sister, won't you help me find something to take home 
to my mother my girl?" Before we were through with the shop- 
ping I had the family history but never a word about the war 
that was done with. They wanted to forget it and go home. They 
resented the delay. 

"We have paid our debt to Lafayette. Now who in hell do we 
owe?" This was the legend I saw once on a camion crossing the 
Place de la Concorde. I was told it was torn down by a scandalized 
officer and forbidden to be used in the future. But it expressed 
the doughboy's opinion, as I got it, better than anything else I 
saw or heard. 

Not only the scenes in my quarter but the conditions of living 
shattered all my preconceived notions of hardship. I had been 
prepared for hardtack, but once at Vouillcmont I found that if 
I took the trouble to market and bring in my purchases I could 
supplement the unbalanced meals with almost anything I wanted. 
The prices were high to be sure sixteen cents each for eggs- 
two to four dollars a pound for butter -a dollar and a half for 
a little jar of honey. Many extras could be bought more cheaply 
at the American Commissariat. William Allen White wan buying 
at the Commissariat the prunes on which he seemed principally 
to live, but marketing gave me the opportunity I wanted for 
finding out what the alert Parisian shopkeepers were thinking 
and saying. I sounded out that opinion daily until it was cut 
off by the conviction running through the town that America 
no longer sympathised fully with the French, that she was not 
going to force Germany to pay the sixty-five billion dollars the 
people felt they should have. 

The Americans living around the Place de la Concorde assured 
me that Paris was not changed ; not for them perhaps, but when 
I went among my old French friends, most of whom had stuck 

Vhetoiirafh by Christian Duvivicr 

Jtt'd Cnm Ht'tulqiMrten, I'm France, 1919 


it through the War, changes stared me in the face. I had hurried 
to my old quarter on the Left Bank. Great gaps in the circle 
around the Pantheon and in the Boulevard Saint-Michel skirting 
the Luxembourg told the story of what the quarter had endured. 
The laiterie where once I had bought eggs and milk and cheese 
was gone, the space carefully boarded. I hunted among the neigh- 
bors for the cheerful Madame whom I had so enjoyed. She had 
died with the building, they told me. 

There were little neglects in the once carefully kept apart- 
ments of my friends that affected me all out of proportion to 
their importance. The door into Madame Marillier's chambre & 
couclicr would not close. 

"Nothing has been mended in Paris, you know, now for three 
years," my friend explained. 

It was literally true: nothing painted, nothing mended, little 
replaced* Craftsmen and tradesmen were in the trenches or in 
their graves. So many of those whom once you had known, the 
people who had served you or had been your comrades, were in 
their graves. Madame Marillier, pointing to a long roster of 
names on her desk in the salon, said : "Look, these are our dead. 
Read them. You will remember some of the names." And I did, 
men whom I had known twenty-five years before, and whose bril- 
liant talk I had listened to at her Wednesday night dinners. 

They could not bring back their dead ; but after all the horror 
life was to go on, and they were bravely doing their best to give 
it something of its character before the War. 

One thing they were counting on was the return to their homes 
and to the muHcums of their treasured "bdles choses* When I went 
out to dinner with French acquaintances who had possessed beau- 
tiful things, often pictures catalogued as national treasures, 
empty frames stared from the walls. The canvases had been cut 
out and sent to a safe place, generally somewhere in the South; 
but they would soon have them back, and that would help. 

Not only in Paris but wherever invasion was threatened there 


had been an immediate effort to hustle the best loved treasures 
out of reach. At Amiens, they told me, they had "sent away" 
the famous L'Ange pleurant. It was back when I was there in 
March, and people were coming from all the towns near by to see 
it, to gloat and weep over it. 

I was concerned with the fate of the "pretty girl of Lille" that 
exquisite wax bust attributed by some to Leonardo da Vinci ; and 
when I made Lille my headquarters for a few days I at once 
made inquiries. The gallery was closed, but there had just been 
received many boxes of pictures which the Germans were carry- 
ing off when stopped on their retreat. The authorities were not 
adverse to having an accredited journalist see with his own eyes 
what had happened, and I was permitted to visit the gallery. 
The boxes were there standing against the wall, still unopened, 
and on each was clearly printed the name of the picture and of 
the German museum to which it had been assigned beautiful 
evidence of the amazing efficiency with which the Germans had 
conducted their looting. 

"Why, there," I said as I went about, "there is the 'pretty girl 
of Lille'!" 

The curator winked at me. "Do you think so?" he said. "That 
is what the German Emperor thought when he went through the 
museum. It is a replica. The pretty girl is in a safe place and she 
will stay there until I am sure they won't come back." ("They" 
was the term I heard almost universally applied to the Germans 
in the devastated regions.) 

Everywhere was the same joy over the safety and the return 
of their belU$ chases. I think I have never been in a group where 
gratitude mingled with sorrow was stronger than when my friend 
Auguste Jaccaci, who had been in Paris throughout the War at 
the head of the beautiful work for Belgian and French children 
lost or orphaned by the War, asked me to go with him to the 
opening of a room in the Louvre, cloned of course through the 
dark period. It was one of the smaller galleries, but in it had been 


gathered new possessions, things bought in the War, others left by 
wills, a collection of choicest pieces. They were welcomed by the 
leading connoisseurs of the city : the directors of the Louvre and 
the Luxembourg, a few artists, a few great ladies. Everybody 
was in black and went about with unsmiling but touching appre- 
ciation, hardly believing, it seemed to me, that again he or she 
was free to rejoice in beauty. It was like coming home after the 
long funeral of a beloved member of a family. 

But I was more concerned with the everyday conditions under 
which humble people were living, particularly in the territory so 
lately occupied. That was where the Red Cross could now be 
of the most practical help, it seemed to me. It took but little 
looking about to see that nothing we could provide would come 
amiss, either to those who had been caught and so remained 
through the War or to those who were now coming back, gen- 
erally under the protest of the authorities. 

I had. not imagined that a bombardment could so strip a com- 
munity, a countryside, of all the little conveniences of life. At 
Lens once a great manufacturing and mining town, now a vast 
mass of red brick dust, hardly a wall left I went about looking 
for signs of life, for I had been told that a few people had 
weathered the horror and were to be found living underground. 
Coming on what seemed to be a path running over a pile of debris, 
I followed it into an opening; and there, in what was left of a 
basement, sat a woman sewing. There was a fire on the hearth. 
She got up to greet me a child ran out, a little girl with tousled 
head, dirty and ragged. "You must pardon the way we look. 
We have been here for many months. We haven't a comb. No 
pins, nothing. But we are happy they have gone." 

Every now and then I came upon little groups who had found 
shelter in enemy trenches throughout the War, In a small town 
southeast of Laon, in the region occupied at the beginning of 
the War and held tintil the final retreat, I came upon a half- 
dozen children who had been, brought up in the trenches. A couple 


of French sisters had come back to the region and were trying 
to civilize them. "You have no idea," they told me, "how difficult 
it is to teach them to use handkerchiefs." This was an apology for 
running noses. But, if ignorant of all civilized ways, these young- 
sters were remarkably healthy. They had had the food of the 
invaders, and they had lived in the earth very much like young 
animals. While they knew nothing of books they knew everything 
about war: guns, batteries, shells, uniforms. On the latter they 
had positive ideas. They had never seen a Red Cross uniform 
before, and they criticized it openly: "pas chic" by which I 
suppose they meant "bungling." And I must confess mine was. 

Continually as I went about I asked myself how it could be 
that every pin, every needle, every spool of thread, every comb, 
had gone. Larger articles you understood, but these little things ! 
The silence of the devastated regions was even more perplexing 
than this stripping. I drove to the Belgian border several times, 
and it was a long time before I could make out why it was so still. 
Finally it occurred to me that I saw and heard nothing alive, no 
cat, no dog, no hen. All these creatures had completely disap- 
peared. And when they began to be brought back the rejoicing 
was like that of the return of the beautiful things to the cities. 
One would live again perhaps. 

At Vic-sur-Aisne where the American Committee for Devas- 
tated France was carrying on its fine practical work, among the 
many, many, things it was doing was attempting to rcntock with 
poultry. The daughter of an eminent New York family hat! an 
incubator in her bedroom where she told me she soon hoped to 
have a flock of chicks. The day that I was there a hen which 
had been imported laid an egg. It was an event in the country- 
side. I saw peasant women wipe away tears that clay as they 
looked at that hen and her egg. They would live again. 

I shared this feeling later when spring began to come, and in 
going over torn battlefields I saw the primroses. One day I heard 
a skylark sing and sing until it came out of the blue and dropped 


like a stone to the ground. It was like a voice of promise from 

What saved one's reason within this immense devastation so 
completely, incredibly horrible was the intelligent and energetic 
way in which restoration was going on. Highways had been 
opened from Paris to Lille and on to Brussels. They included 
such shattered towns as Albert, Arras, B^thune, Lens, Armen- 
ti&res. I could go comfortably, and did, to Ypres, Cambrai, Saint- 
Quentin, Laon, llheims -to all important points in northeastern 
France and along the border. It was when you disobeyed orders 
and explored unopened territory that you got into trouble. I 
tried Messines Ridge and landed in a shell hole. It took twenty 
small AnnamoHo, located by my doughboy chauffeur at work on 
a clean-up job a mile or so away, to lift out our car and carry 
it a quarter of a mile to something like safety. The angry be- 
rating of an English officerthe Knglish being responsible in 
that territory still rings in my ears. 

The most heartening sight was the steady, slow redemption of 
the mutilated land. As a rule the job of clearing away the first 
layer of war debris was given to German prisoners and soldiers 
froitt 'French colonies. It was a horrifying mess of abandoned 
tanks, artillery, #un, shells, hand grenades not all duds, un- 
happily, IXH daily accidents demonstrated. With the debris cleared 
away,, the heavy task of leveling the land followed. It was often 
deeply riddled, an over the Chemin des Darnes, where the under- 
pinning of hard while limestone lay shattered on the top the 
soil far below. After the leveling came the tractors plowing the 
land, and finally the seeding. Along the highways outside of most 
of the big wrecked, towns I saw between Paris and Lille were 
short stretcheH in one or another stage of this orderly redemption. 

French, English, and Americans were all connected with the 
restoration. What really mattered, I felt, was the work of the 
French: first, it was their business; then, they understood their 
people*-* what they could and could not expect them to do. They 


were most successful in getting individuals to do the things they 
had always done in the way they had always done them. The 
American workers, marvelous as they were, wanted to reform 
the French modes of life. They were keen on sanitation and chintz 
curtains ; the Frenchmen were keen on community tractors ; the 
Frenchwomen, on community sewing machines. 

After I had seen one little group of Frenchwomen gathered 
by an energetic duchess in a wing of her battered chUteau mak- 
ing over old clothes for ragged refugees, who had had literally 
nothing new for years, I thought I knew what the Red Cross could 
best do for the devastated regions. 

The Red Cross had on hand at the end of the war millions of 
garments, the output of thousands of little sewing and knitting 
circles scattered from ocean to ocean and from Great Lakes to 
Gulf. Innumerable shirts, drawers, pajamas, scarfs, sweaters, 
were piled in storehouses the most extensive that I saw being 
at Lille. My cry was: "Turn them over to the French sewing 
circles so rapidly forming and if possible send a sewing machine 
with them. You can be sure that the Kalamostoo pajmnan, the 
Topeka shirts, everybody's sweaters, will bo refitted for children, 
and men and women who at present have not a decent Hlrirt to 
their backs, or decent drawers to their legs-" A deultory dis- 
tribution was already making, but I wanted it general and sys- 
tematic. It was consoling to have found at leant one thing, obvi- 
ous as it was, which I felt I could energetically back* 

Practical help was the more worth while because HO intelli- 
gently turned to use. The few returning to the towns from 
which they had been driven often showed amassing resourceful- 
ness and courage. They wanted to rebuild their homes, Het up 
their shops; but when they came to the town where they once 
had lived it frequently was impossible to find the spot which they 
supposed they owned. At Cantigny, an utterly devastated flat 
ruin the day I saw it, a Frenchman ami hi wife appeared and 


quietly went about trying to locate the site of their home. They 
went away in disagreement as to where their street had run. 

At Peronnc I talked with a carpenter who had set up his shop. 
He told me he had had difficulty in finding his old location, but he 
thought he was on the right spot at least the authorities told 
him he might settle there. By pulling scaffoldings from tumble- 
down houses and bringing in corrugated iron from near-by 
trenches he had made himself a waterproof shelter, arranged a 
workbench and already was earning a little money helping the 
authorities here and there in the cleaning up. A piece of con- 
structive work he had taken on was salvaging doors. Here he had 
found a solid doorframe, there a panel; and, putting these to- 
gether, he was producing a stock. He was certain it would not 
be long before he would have customers for them. 

All this put heart in me in the same way the first primrose, the 
first skylark, had done. There was an indomitable something in 
men then, an there was in nature, something that made them 
live and grow* 

'Paris and the Peace Conference taxed my faith more severely 
than the devastated regions. My brother back in the United 
StatcA wrote me that the job the Conference neemecl to have set 
itwelf wan an big an creating the world. Men were not Ing enough 
for that, and one wan aghant that they felt so equal to it or, if 
not that, were willing to give the impression of feeling equal* 

What Beared me wa that HO many battered people accepted 
thin notion of what the Conference could and would do, 3<Yom all 
over the globe they brought their wrongs and hopes and needs 
to be HaHsficd* Many of them also brought along ideas for the 
making and running of the new world ideas in which they felt 
the quality of inspiration. The tmccofw of the Conference would 
depend in the mind of ench of these suppliants, upon his getting 
what he wan after. 

But at the very outset they were balked by their failure to 


reach the one man who they believed had not only the will but 
the power to satisfy their grievances and hopes the Messiah 
of the Conference, Woodrow Wilson. 

There was always somebody in the complex and all-embracing 
organization of the Conference to hear, sift, report their case; 
but again and again they could get no notion of what was hap- 
pening to it. Insistence on an answer, on knowing how things 
were going, often closed doors which at first had welcomed them. 
I felt this deeply in the case of the Armenians. My interest in 
them had been aroused by a delegation at the Hotel de Vouille- 
mont. In the number was a woman with one of the most beauti- 
ful and tragic faces that I had ever looked on. It was not long 
before this woman was putting her case before me in excellent 
English, for she had had all the advantages of a European edu- 
cation. She and her companions had all suffered from the cruel 
and relentless atrocities which had paralyzed their country. Now 
their hope was that the United States would take the mandate 
for Armenia. Before I realised it I had become a determined 
advocate of that solution of their problem. I feel sure that, if we 
had gone into the League of Nations, I should have felt called 
to work for a mandate for Armenia. 

The saddest thing was to see the gradual fall of their hopes, 
to know the day had come when, whatever had been the original 
reception, they could no longer get the ear of principals or ex- 
perts. Balfour was said to have shouted at an aide as he threw 
the memoranda of the Armenians in the corner: "Do not bring 
me another of these thing*) at this Conference, I know all I want 
to know about this cause, and I will not read any more memo- 

Something of this kind was happening in delegation after 
delegation, and as hope went out of the suppliants resentment 
took its place. Soon many of the disappointed were joining the 
BO small number that from the start had come to Paris, HO far 
as I could sec, to do their best to ruin the Conference, From 


every country came political opponents of the chosen delegates 
and of the settlements which they were seeking; from no coun- 
try were there more of these than from the United States, and 
certainly from no country were there so many whose chief 
weapon was malicious gossip. 

There was nothing for these political malcontents to do but 
talk, and that they did whenever they could find a listener in 
cafes, on street corners, at French dinner tables dinner tables 
becoming more and more unsympathetic as it began to be ru- 
mored that the full measure of punishment they asked was not 
to be given Germany. These groups naturally absorbed the be- 
wildered people who were getting no answer to their supplications, 
who were being put off from day to day. It was easy to persuade 
them that the Peace Conference was a failure. 

What startled me as the days went on was the passing of the 
will to peace which had been strong, even taken for granted at 
the start. Hate wan replacing it. Again and again I recalled in 
those days a shrine I had once seen in Brittany called "Our Lady 
of the Hates* 1 one of those frank realistic shrines where sym- 
bolic figures portray the devils which torment men and prevent 
peaceful living. That shrine haunted my dreams when the con- 
fusion and bilterncHH nccmcd daily more confounded, 

The Hocial revolutioniHlH at the Peace Conference never reached 
the point of building barricades an I had cen them do in Paris 
twenty-five yearn before; but they did make it rather lively on 
May 1st and inconvenient for many people who wanted to do 
their part in keeping the world moving in an orderly fashion 
Iheir humdrum part of delivering milk, looking after the sick ? 
keeping things clean. They threatened auch (lire calamity if 
they were not allowed to meet and obstruct circulation in certain 
central places that the Government* usually stupid in such mat- 
1er% shut clown on their ambition HO completely that of course 
they collected in these forbidden places and did their best to 
cause bloodshed. 


I remember one young thing who thought the time had come 
and meant to be in the center of carnage. She went out early 
in the morning and posted herself on the steps of the Madeleine 
and sat there all day in a state of honest, genuine enthusiasm 
ready to sacrifice herself as well as everybody in sight. But there 
was no real fray only some discouraging little street rows, with 
theatrical attempts to make capital out of them, and a few piti- 
ful dead, little useful people with dependents taking a holiday 
and eager to see. 

It was a great day for American doughboys. They had been 
ordered to stay indoors, to give up their firearms, and to do 
nothing that in any way would invite disaster. Their answer 
was like that of the would-be revolutionist for they streamed by 
hundreds over the monuments and cannon of the Place do la 
Concorde. There was not a monument or a point of vantage 
around that Place that any human being could climb to that was 
not occupied by these youths. If there was to be a revolution, 
they were going to be there to see it break out* 

That which contributed more than anything else, it seemed 
to me at the time, to the suspicion and commotion around the 
Peace Conference was that it fed the onlookers (the press in- 
cluded) so little actual information to chew on. The delegates 
and committees sat behind closed doors, only spoke when a con- 
clusion was reached, a document adopted* The public wanted to 
sit in a gallery and hear the discussions leading to conclusions 
and documents, and being shut out speculated, gOBtiipcd, be- 
lieved the worst, spread false and damaging reports. 

It took out its resentment by creating a four-headed monster* 
Wilson, Clemcnceau, Lloyd George, and Orlandopreparing 1 to 
dragoon the world into a fresh crop of unholy alliances and com- 
mitments and to refuse justice to multitxtdcH of small and weak 
peoples and causes. It was prepared beforehand to doubt what- 
ever the Conference did. 

In the confusion and discouragement the one concrete thing I 


found was the International Labor Conference. At the beginning 
of the century one of the hopes of pacifists like Dr. Jordan, Jane 
Addams, and their associates had been the International Asso- 
ciation for Labor Legislation, organized in 1900. It had been 
carried on without much help from labor itself until the War 
came ; then labor set up a loud demand for international action. 
The undertaking added to that Americanization of the Place de 
la Concorde and the Rue de Rivoli which had struck me on my 
arrival. Many men and women I had known when I was working 
editorially and otherwise on labor relations turned up. It was 
like home to see Mr. Gompers barging up and down the Rue de 
Rivoli and to run onto Mary Anderson and Rose Schneiderman 
in the garden of the Tuileries. 

I was lucky enough to fall in at the start with Dr. James T. 
Shotwell, the active head of the labor committee of the Ameri- 
can delegation. Dr. ShotwclPs intelligence and patience were of 
the utmost help, I have always felt, in getting the final agree- 
ment adopted, early in April in a full session. Certainly it was 
due to IUB generous explanations that I was able to follow what 
was going on. 

At the same time I had the satisfaction of finding old-time 
French friendn interested and active in the undertaking most 
important of these Albert ThoxnuH, who from the start was one 
of the vital influences in the Conference. Then my old friend 
SeignoboB wan actively interested. Shotwell in Ms "At the Paris 
Peace Conference" describes him as a a little old man, talking 
fast and furi<m1y, very well satisfied with our labor business, 
which he seems to hold in higher regard than we do-'* Seignoboa 
did hold it in high regard, hoped much for its future, I suspect 
he too was glad to find something in the complicated peace ne- 
gotiations lie could put \m handn on> see through. 

One of the mont unexpected of my experiences in these days 
wa$ the revival of past episodes in my life. The friends I had 
known so well in Paris hack In the nineties, such aa had escaped 


death or disability, were constantly turning up in important 
positions. Most influential among them all was the Englishman 
Wickham Steed, now the editor of the London Times, a person 
who ranked with ambassadors, but who was good enough to take 
notice of his old Latin Quarter friends. 

Another of my intimates of those days was Charles Borgeaud, 
who had come up from Geneva with the Swiss plan for a con- 
federation of nations, a sound and excellent document, which I 
suppose was filed away with the multitudes of plans which flooded 
the Conference in those days. I was so excited by seeing about 
me so many of these old acquaintances and friends that I at- 
tempted to get them together for lunch one day Seignobos, 
Madame Marillier, Steed, Louis Lapique, all that I could put 
my hands on. The result gave me a melancholy sense of what 
twenty-five years can do, particularly a twenty-five years ending 
in such a catastrophe as they had all been going through, to take 
the edge off once keen friendships. 

A more satisfactory revival of past and gone associations came 
from meeting numbers of former professional friends who were 
filling one or another post. Here were William Allen White and 
Auguste Jaccaci; here was Ray Stannard Baker, the head of the 
American press delegation, one of the few Americans having an 
easy entree to the President himself, conducting his difficult post 
with fine judgment and an absolute fairness which silenced the 
tongues of some of the most bumptious and political-minded cor- 

"How can you bully BO straight a chap as Ray Baker?" a 
correspondent anxious for a special privilege said disconsolately 
in my hearing one day. 

There were hours when it seemed like a gathering in the office 
of the old Amerwtm Maffazww 9 so natural and intimate it was. 

But these hours were not very many. My business was to fur- 
nish at least an article a month for the Red Crow M&f/twWtC and 
to follow the progress of the efforts to bring about a peace set- 


tlement including a league of nations. There were days when it 
seemed to me an inexplicable confusion, a bedlam; but, as a 
matter of fact, as the days went on I became satisfied by study- 
ing the communiques, following the press conferences, reading 
the reliable English and French papers and the daily digests of 
what the papers of the United States were saying (posted at 
our press quarters), that a practical plan for international co- 
operation was taking form and that gradually more and more 
of the delegates of the thirty-one nations represented were con- 
senting to it. To get something they would all sign seemed to 
me creative statesmanship of the highest order. For each of these 
nations had problems of its own, political, economic, social, re- 
ligious, which must be considered before its representative dared 
sign. Thirty-one varieties of folks back home sat at that peace 
table, and they all had to be heard. In final analysis it was the 
failure patiently to listen to the political objections coming from 
the United States and trying openly to meet them which kept 
UB out of the largest and soundest joint attempt the world had 
ever seen, to put an end to war. For that is what I believed the 
Covenant of the League of Nations to be when I heard the final 
draft read and adopted at the Plenary Session of the Conference 
on April 588. 

But no one could have studied the truly august assembly 
adopting the Covenant without realizing the threats to its future 
in its make-up. They lay in the certainty of a few that the prob- 
lem was solved there would be no more wars. President Wilson, 
the noblest and the most distinguished figure of them all, seemed 
to believe it. But there were men putting clown their names who 
did not believe it, who sneered an they signed; and skill more dan- 
gerous were the* stolid ones who accepted without knowing what 
it meant* Clemenceau had told hits people what the Covenant 
mttfint -Sacrifices," sacrifice for all; he was the only man at 
the Peace Conference whom I heard use the word, and yet the 
key to the peace of the world is sacrifice sacrifice of the strong 


to meet the needs and urges of the weak. If the League of Na- 
tions, led as it has been by the great satisfied nations, had 
grappled with that truth at the start, it is possible we should 
not now be seeing signatories take up war to satisfy their needs 
and urges. 

These doubts weighed heavily upon me as I left the Plenary 
Session. But in the group of exultant Americans who that day 
saw the world made over I had no desire to voice them. There was 
only one of my friends to whom I could confide my fears that 
was Auguste Jaccaci, a doubting Thomas with profound faith 
in some things (I never quite made out what) : beauty and a 
directing God, I think. The night after the signing of the Cov- 
enant, Jac and I sat long in troubled silence over our coffee 
and petit verre, for neither of us could believe that the signing 
of a paper by however many nations could in itself bring immedi- 
ate peace to the world. 

Still I believed with all my heart in the attempt. My business 
now as a journalist and a lecturer, I told myself, was to explain 
the intent of the Covenant, what it set out to do, also to warn 
that it must be given time to work out its salvation. 

Before leaving America for the Peace Conference I had signed 
a contract to go for ten weeks of the summer of 1919 on a Chau- 
tauqua circxiit in the Northwest. By this time I had an under- 
standing with my sponsors that I should be allowed to talk on 
what I had seen and heard at the Peace Conference* I now hur- 
ried home to fill that contract. I had hardly landed before 1 
realized how bitter was the political attack on the Covenant. 
Would audiences in the Northwest listen to its clefenne? 

But I did not allow this worry to intrude itself into my lec- 
turing. In fact it was not in me to worry, once on the road, for 
I quickly discovered I was making what would probably be the 
moat interesting trip of my life. And so it turned out. The coun- 
try was incredibly exciting and of endless variety, I joined a 
circuit already ten weeks old in northern Utah. We skirted the 


Great Salt Lake and traveled from one Mormon settlement to 
another. It amuses me now to remember how surprised I was to 
discover that Mormons were like Gentiles, that I at once felt 
towards them exactly as I did towards different religious sects at 
home. True, the attempt of taxi drivers, hotel clerks, baggage- 
men, to convert me when they caught me idle in their vicinity 
was a bit disconcerting at first, but I soon began to expect it 
and to find interest in their arguments. 

After Utah came the lava country of southern Idaho along the 
Snake River. We climbed over the mountains into Oregon, went 
down the Columbia, over to the sea, up the coast to Portland, 
Tacoma, Seattle. We were in the Yakima apple country and in 
the berry fields of Puyallup, and everywhere in cherry orchards, 
such cherries as I had never imagined. 

For a week we junketed around Vancouver Sound in primitive 
little steamers. We pitched our tents in lumber towns built on 
stilts, crossed fire-devastated mountains into the Coeur d'Alene 
region of northern Idaho, where one still heard reverberations of 
the labor struggles which had so agitated us on MeClure 9 and 
the American. Then Montana miles of plateaus and plains, the 
air thick with smoke, the earth sprinkled with ashes, for the 
mountains were on fire. 

This magnificent and varied country carried with it a varied 
and compelling hitman story. Each new town turned up some bit 
of human tragedy or comedy. These people were pioneers, or 
pioneers once removed. They knew all the dangers, the hardships, 
the defeat*, and conquests of pioneering. Their talk was of what 
they or their fathers had lived and Been, Whatever it had been* 
their hope wan unquenchable. Every town we entered was the 
finest in the Northwest, the finest even when you knew that shift- 
ing trade and industry was cutting the very feet out from under 

Thin was the land of Borah, but never In all those ten weeks, 
talking on the League of Nations, did I receive from press or 


individuals anything but respectful hearing. I was the first per- 
son who had come into their territory from the Peace Conference, 
and they wanted to hear all I had to give. They would do their 
own appraising. 

As the days went by, I sensed a growing bewilderment at the 
fight against the League. These people had listened for years to 
people they honored urging some form of international union 
against war. They had heard Dr. Jordan and Jane Addams 
preaching a national council for the prevention of war. President 
Taft advocating a league to enforce peace. In many of the towns 
there had been chapters of these societies. 

On our circuit there was a superintendent who reminded me 
every time we met that back in the 1890's he had spent practi- 
cally all his patrimony going about the Northwest preaching a 
league of nations. It irked him, he said, that I should be receiving 
money for talking what he twenty-five years before had talked 
without price, purely for love of the cause. And no wonder ! 

With such a background, was it strange that many people in 
the Northwest should have been puzzled that the Congress of 
the United States was seemingly more and more determined that 
we should not join this first attempt of the civilized world to 
find substitutes for war in international quarrels? 

Seeking reasons for this refusal, I felt the one which had most 
weight with people was the guarantee that France was ask- 
ing from England and the United States to come to her aid in 
case of unprovoked attack by Germany, that is, a guarantee 
which was to remain in force until the League of Nation** was a 
going concern, 

I found that most people were against this. They wouldn't run 
the risk of having to help France again. 1 was for granting the 
guarantee provisionally and for a limited period. I believed such 
a guarantee would quiet what I felt to be one of the real dangers 
of tbe after-war situation, the near hysteria of France. Ameri- 
cans proud of their generous part in saving France from what 


looked to them like calculated annihilation said ; "Why these hys- 
terics? The War is over. The nations are going to enforce peace. 
The devastated region is to be restored at Germany's expense. 
Forget it." 

How could America understand the years of horror France 
had just suffered, the devastation of centuries of loving labor, 
the wiping out of three and a half million of her best youth? 
And most serious of all perhaps, how could America realize 
what France so clearly realized, that the Great War was but the 
latest expression of centuries of determination on the part of 
Central Europe to reach the sea? It must have an ocean front 
even if this could be obtained only by crossing the dead body of 

I had spent some hours at Chalons-sur-Marne just before I 
returned. Nobody in that town was so alive to me as Attila, Fif- 
teen hundred years before, he had led the forces of Central 
Europe so far and had been stopped; but Central Europe had 
come back again and again, driven by the urge for the sea. 
Again and again France had saved herself, but she knew now 
who could never do it without the help of those who believed her 
culture one of the earth 1 ** great possessions. She must have guar- 
antcett. But how could the United States understand that cen- 
turies of experience were behind France's fear? They had not 
met Attila at CliillonH-Hxir-Marno I had 

All of this 1 talked in more or ICHH detail until in midsummer 
my lip were closed for two weeks by William Jennings Bryan. 
Mr. Bryan for many years had been the brightest star of the 
Chauta\iqua platform* The management of the circuit liked to 
introduce him for whatever time he could give and they afford- 
It meant that the regular performer must either step down or 
divide his period The evening was the proper hour for Mr. 
Bryan, for only then could the men come. Now I spoke in the 
evening. * 4 0ut your time to forty minutes, and go on a half-hour 
earlier/' were my instructions. I, of course, obeyed. 


Now Mr. Bryan was presenting a two-hour discussion of what 
he considered the ideal political Democratic platform at that 
moment. In his planks he included joining the League of Nations 
but turning down the guarantees to France. At our first joint 
appearance he rose to condemn guarantees an hour after I had 
pleaded for them. When he was told of the conflict of opinion 
he at once looked me up, and in effect told me that I must not 
present views opposed to his on a platform where he was speak- 
ing. He in no way tried to influence my opinion, only to shut it 
off. I insisted that it was good for the audience to hear both 
sides. "The audience came to hear me," said Mr. Bryan; "it is 
important they know my views." He did not want them confused 
as they might be, he said, if I began the evening by airing mine. 

Of course Mr, Bryan did not say, "You are of no political 
importance, and I am of a great deal," but that was what he 
meant. It was quite true, and I bowed for the time being to the 
demands of politics, but only for the moment* The two weeks 
over, I began again to talk guarantees with more interest OB 
the part of my audience because of what Mr. Bryan had been 
saying and also, I suspect, less agreement. 

By the time the circuit ended, the League was in a bad way 
in Congress. A bitter partisan war had broken out and Wood- 
row Wilson ill, his Scotch stubbornness the harder because of his 
illness, would not budge an inch. It was a sickening tiling to 
watch. The only consolation was that the rest of the world wanted 
peace enough to make the sacrifices and run the risks a League 
undoubtedly demanded. 

Wilson's enemies gloated: he was beaten, stripped of his glory; 
the world would forget him, was already forgetting him. They 
were wrong. 

In the months that followed the final collapse of the League 
as far as the United States was concerned, I was much In Wash- 
ington ; and nothing I saw was more moving than the continual 
quiet popular tributes to Woodrow Wilson* On holidays and Sun- 


days groups were always standing before Ms home, watching for 
a glimpse of him. Let him enter a theater and the house rose to 
cheer, while crowds waited outside in rain and cold to see him 
come out cheer him as he passed. 

On November 11, 1921, the body of America's Unknown Sol- 
dier was carried from the Capitol where it had lain in state to 
its grave in Arlington a perfect ceremony of its kind. The bier 
was followed by all we had of official greatness at that moment: 
President Harding and his Cabinet, the Supreme Court, the 
House, the Senate, officers of the Army and Navy, and General 
Foch our guest of honor. At the end, following all this greatness 
but not of it, came a carriage. As the packed ranks between which 
the procession had passed in silence saw its occupants, Woodrow 
Wilson and Mrs. Wilson, a muffled cry of love and gratitude 
broke out, and that cry followed that carriage to the very door- 
way of their home. It was to be so until he died. He was the man 
they could not forget. 

They will not forget him in the future. He is the first leader 
in the history of society who has treated the ancient dream of 
a peaceful world as something more than wishful thinking, the 
first who was willing to stake all in drawing the nations of the 
world together in an effort to make that "just and lasting peace 
among ourselves and with all nations** for which Abraham Lin- 
coln pleaded. 

In Turin in 1019 Woodrow Wilson actually persuaded the 
leaders of the majority of the earth's nations to help him build 
and net up a machine for Hiich a peace. The complaint Is that 
it has not clone all it attempted But how can any person who 
known anything of man'n past efforts to create machinery for 
the betterment of his life suppose that this, the most ambitious 
international undertaking ever made, would from the start rim 
without friction or breakdown, would never need overhauling, 
even rebuilding? 

That in not in the nature of things. The League has lived for 


eighteen years now. Its weaknesses have developed with experi- 
ence, so has its usefulness. Its services to the world have been 
innumerable if not spectacular. If its failures have been spec- 
tacular, they have not destroyed the structure ; rather they have 
demonstrated certain points at which it must be rebuilt. 

The world will not forget the man who led in this effort to 
achieve enduring peace. That is what I was saying in those bitter 
days and have been saying in all the melancholy ones since. 


My TEN weeks of daily talking on the Peace Conference and the 
Covenant of the League of Nations ended the War for me. Also, 
it forced me to consider anew the problem of security. It was 
nearly four years now since I had put an end to it by severing 
my connection with The American Magazine. But the years had 
been so full of the War, the scramble to do something that some- 
body thought was needful, and at the same time to keep the pot 
boiling, that I had not realized what had happened. It meant for 
me, as I now saw, the end of an economic era. 

I sat down to take stock. Here I was sixty-three with only a 
small accumulation of material goods, I must work to live and 
satisfy my obligations. To be sure I had my little home in Con- 
necticut which in the fifteen years since I had acquired it had 
not only grown increasingly dear to me; it had also taken on 
an importance winch I had not foreseen. It had become the fam- 
ily home. Here my mother had come to pass the last summers 
before her death in 1917; here my niece Esther had been mar- 
ried under the Oak; here my niece Clara and her husband 
Tristram Tupper, battered by war service, had come in 1919 to 
live in our little guont house. Here Tris had written his first 
successful magazine story. Here their two children passed their 
first yearn. Near by, my sister had built herself a studio to be- 
come her home. A hundred associations gave the place a mean- 
ing and dignity which I had never expected to feel in any home 
of my own, Homothin# that only comes when a place has been 
hallowed by the joy and Morrows of family life, 

I had carried out my original intention of never letting it be- 
come a financial burden; ao f adrift as I now was, I not only could 



aff ord my home but felt that it was the strongest factor in my 
scheme of security, for here I knew I could retire and raise all 
the food I needed if free lancing petered out. 

I was quite clear about the work I wanted to do. It was to 
continue writing and speaking on the few subjects on which I 
felt strongly, and of which I knew a little. These subjects had 
made a pattern in my mind. If men would work out this pattern 
I felt that they would go a long way towards ending the world's 
quarrels, quieting its confusions. First and most important were 
the privileges they had snatched. I wanted to see them all gradu- 
ally scrapped, cost what it might economically. They were a 
threat to honest men, to sound industry, to peaceful international 

I wanted to help spread the knowledge of all the intelligent 
efforts within and without industry and government, to put an 
end to militancy, replace it with actual understanding. And then 
I wanted to do my part towards making the world acquainted 
with the man who I believed had best shown how to carry out 
a program of cooperation based on consideration of others 
that was Abraham Lincoln. 

There was a man, I told myself, who took the time to under- 
stand a thing before he spoke. He knew that hurry, acting before 
you were reasonably sure, almost invariably makes a mess of 
even the best intentions. He wanted to know what he was about 
before he acted, also he wanted all those upon whom he must 
depend for results to know what he WEB about and why. What- 
ever he did, he did without malice, taking into account men*# 
limitations, not asking more from any one than he could give. 
More than anybody I had atuclied lie applied in public affairs 
Frederick Taylor's rules for achievement of which I have spoken 
above. The more people who knew about Lincoln, the more chance 
democracy had to destroy its two chief cnt'mieH, privilege and 
militancy, I proposed to take every chance I had to talk about 


intl an n f)<mlencr> 


This was the program on which I was so set that I was willing 
to follow it even if it did take away from me the comforts of a 
regular salary. 

Giving up the salary troubled me less than finding myself 
without the regular professional contacts which I had so enjoyed 
for twenty years, and on which I found, now I was free, that I 
had come to depend more than I would have believed. 

Not belonging to an editorial group meant that when I dropped 
my pen at lunch time I no longer could join a half-dozen office 
mates full of gossip of what the morning had brought : the last 
TarMngton manuscript; something of Willa Gather's; a letter 
from Kipling ; that new person from Louisville, George Madden 
Martin, with a real creation, Emmy Lou ; that new person from 
Wisconsin, Edna Ferber, with a bona fide human being in hand, 
Emma McOhcsncy; or it might be Dunne's last "Dooley," or 
Baker's last adventure in "Contentment," or gossip from the last 
man in Washington, perhaps direct from the White House, and 
always surely from our liberal friends in Congress. This was the 
stuff of our lunch-table talk. We gloated or mourned* and our 
eyes were always on what was coming rather than what had 

I no longer "had an office next door to these friends. My study 
had become my workshop. Now I muot pay my own secretary's 
bill, my own telephone calk, buy my own stationery, I gasped 
when I found what thcne extras amounted to* Freedom, I saw, 
wan going to be expensive as well m lonesome* 

However, for nineteen, years 1 have kept to my decision. How 
little I have contributed to my program in these nineteen years ! 
The chief piece of writing I planned to do 1 have never finished. 
That WON bringing "The Hintory of the Standard Oil Company*' 
tip to (late. I had dropped the Htory in 1904, but the dissolution, 
of the company in 1911 left me with the melancholy conviction 
that sooner or later I should have to estimate the trial and put 
down how the new set-up was working. 1 talked two or three 


times with George Wickersham, the Attorney General who 
brought the suit, and he always cautioned me not to hurry, to 
let the decision have a chance to work out. I think we decided 
that about ten years would do it. But the War put a different 
face on oil. It suddenly became a matter for government control. 
It was no longer a private business. It was life and death for 
the Allies. Oil was as necessary to them, Clemenceau wrote to 
Wilson, as the blood of men. Everything that rolled or sailed 
or flew must have it. The great struggle of the nations with 
navies, England at the head, to command oil at its source, fol- 
lowed the War. The earth was ransacked for it in a terrific 
predatory hunt. In this effort of the nations to command oil 
supplies great names arose challenging that of Rockefeller- 
Sir Henri Deterding, Marcus Samuel, William Knox D'Arcy. 
The Standard Oil Company no longer ruled the oil world. There 
were the Royal Dutch and the Shell making up finally the Royal 
Dutch Shell; there was the Anglo-Persian. All of the dramatic 
and frequently tragic goings-on had to settle down into Home- 
thing like orderly procedure before the history I had in mind 
could be written. 

The time came, along in 1922, when Mr, Wickersham said, 
"You had better go at it.*' But it was not Mr. Wickcrwliani's 
dictum that hurried me to undertake to tell the story of what 
had happened since 1904, It was an entirely unexpected piratical 
attack on the two-volume edition of the history which had been 
exhausted for some time. My publisher, wisely enough, was 
waiting for the promised third volume before reprinting. When 
it became known in the trade that the book was no longer on 
the market a report was spread that the Standard Oil Company 
had bought and destroyed the platen, and the price soared. 
Down in Louisiana Huey Long paid one hundred dollars for a 
set, so I wan told. 

As I frequently received inquiries as to where the books could 


be found or where a purchaser could be found for a set, I turned 
the correspondence over to my secretary, a canny woman, who 
established a trading relation with a dealer in old books; and 
the two of them were in a fair way to do a nice little business 
when their hopes were blasted by the appearance in a New York 
bookstore of an entirely new edition of the work a cheap edi- 
tion, selling for five or six dollars. My publishers made an im- 
mediate investigation and found that it had been printed in 
England, probably from German plates. 

As the third volume was not ready, there was nothing for the 
publisher to do but reprint the two, which he very promptly 
did. On the appearance of the reprint the pirated edition disap- 
peared from the market. This episode set me to work promptly 
at the third volume. 

But I needed a financial backer if the work was to be put 
through promptly. I found it unexpectedly in the editor-in-chief 
for whom the first two volumes had been written S. S. McClure, 
McClure'ti Magazine, which had been suspended for a few years, 
had been revived, Mr, McCiure in charge. He felt that bringing 
Standard Oil history up to date was a logical and might be an 
important feature for the periodical* 

For me there wan satisfaction in trying to revive the old edi*' 
torial relations* 1 had always missed the gaiety and excitement 
Mr* McX'lure gave to work, and, too, I had always felt a little 
anxious about what 1 suspected wan happening to him in a group 
which, even if it wan made tip of the very best of the town- 
men arid women of ability and loyalty, naturally eager to prove 
that they could make a McClwrtf* Magazine m good as ever 
had been made or better could not, I was convinced, undcr- 
ntand Mr. McOlure, get out of him what he had to give like his 
old partner and friend John S. Phillips. So I was willing to give 
all I had to help in the revival of the old periodical 

I had my book well in hand, some twenty thousand words writ- 


ten, when the new McClure's was suspended and the third volume 
on the Standard Oil Company was cast out before publication 
had begun. 

Perhaps it was just as well, both for McClurc's and for me, 
Kepeating yourself is a doubtful practice, particularly for edi- 
tor and writer. I feel now there was no hope of my recapturing 
the former interest in the former way. The result would have 
smelt a bit musty. Indeed, though I hate to admit it, I think 
there has been a slight mustiness about all I have done in the 
nineteen years since I started "on my own" that is, not on 
assignment built as it has been on work done before the Great 

Left with twenty thousand words on hand and no editor, I was 
obliged to make a quick turn in the interest of security and 
took on the first piece of work that offered. For one reason or 
another I have never been able to return to that third volume 
and it looks now as if it were a piece of work for my ninth decade 
since it failed to mature in the seventh and eighth ! 

If I failed to carry out my plan for tracing the maneuvers of 
the master monopoly after the Government had taken it apart 
in 1911 and after it adapted itself to the new and extraordinary 
situations forced by the Great War, I did trace what could be 
done in a corporation whose parts all had been built more or less 
on privilege^ and which itself enjoyed high tariff protection, 
when a man took hold of it who believed that ordinary ethics did 
apply to business. This study was shaped 11 round the lift* of 
Judge Elbert II, Gary. 

It wan no idea of mine, this life of Clary, and when it was pro- 
posed to me by that energetic and resourceful editor Hutger 
Jewett I promptly said, "No. M But Mr. Jewett was insistent. 
He had talked the matter over with Judge Gary, who had told 
him he would open his records and answer my questions if I 
would do the Book* 

That meant, I supposed, that lie had confidence in my ability 


to be fair-minded, whatever my suspicions. His judgment was 
formed on my handling of certain efforts to improve and human- 
ize the conditions of labor in the mills, factories, and towns of 
the United States Steel Corporation. The Corporation under 
his direction had been a pioneer in safety and sanitation work. 
It had developed a pension system, improved communities, im- 
proved its housing, built schools and hospitals where there was 
no community to take care of these needs. It was the broadest, 
soundest record that I had found in my gathering of material 
for the articles Tlic American Magazine had published under the 
title of "The Golden Rule in Business." I knew from my talks 
with Judge Gary that there was nothing going on in the Steel 
Corporation in which he was more deeply interested. 

Moreover, I knew he was a man I could talk with freely. More 
than once, when he as spokesman of the Corporation was under 
attack for arbitrary dealings with labor, I had gone to him for 
his side of the case; and although I might not agree, and fre- 
quently did not, I always came away enlightened and with a 
rather humiliated feeling that I had shown myself an amateur 
in a conversation where he was very much the expert. 

But wa I equal to finding out the truth of things in this enor- 
mous industrial labyrinth which he ruled? Moreover, if Judge 
Gary had been an industrial plunderer, should I be willing so to 
present him? I had no heart for a repetition of my experience 
with IT. TT. Rogers. 

Another reason for hesitation wa$ that I knew if I did under- 
take it, and was as fair an I knew how to be, I should at once 
be under suspicion by groups with whose intentions for the 
most part I sympathised. They were unwilling to consider Gary 
in any light save that of Scapegoat Number One- An attack 
~ye -they would welcome it. An attempt to set down his buBt- 
neim life as he had actually lived it no. That wan whitewashing* 

Finally 1 took the matter to Judge Gary himself. "I do not 
know that I want to write your life," 1 told him* "If I find prac- 


tices which seem to me against public policy as I understand it 
I shall have to say so. I appreciate your efforts to make work- 
ing conditions for labor as good as you know how to make them, 
but it does not follow that I can stand for your financial policies. 
It is not your humanitarianism but your ethics I suspect." 

"Well," Judge Gary laughed, "if you can find anything wrong 
in our doings I want to know it. I had George Wickersham in 
here for a year or more going over the whole set-up telling 
me what he thought we ought not to do, and I followed every 
suggestion he made. The Government has had its agency here 
for two years examining our books, and they gave us a clean 
bill of health. The Supreme Court has refused to declare us a 
monopoly in restraint of trade. Do your worst, and if you find 
anything wrong I shall be grateful." 

I felt more of an amateur than ever after that. I also con- 
cluded that it would be sheer cowardice on my part to refuse 
the job which I really needed. I had not been long at my task, 
however, before I was heartened by the certainty that, from the 
formation of the Corporation, Judge Gary had made a steady 
and surprisingly successfxtl fight to strip the businesses which 
he was putting together of certain illegal privileges, aw well AH 
to set up an entirely new code of fair practices- the Gary Code, 
it was jeeringly called in Wall Street, 

Orders went out neither to ask nor to accept special favors 
from the railroads. Full yearly reports of the financial condi- 
tion of the Corporation, whether good or bad, were sent out, 
These reports reached the public as early an they did the direc- 
tors themselves, putting an end to 1he advance information which 
many insiders were accustomed to fining for stock selling or buy- 
ing. Various forms of predatory competition were attacked from 
the inside. tTudge Gary not only laid down his code,, he followed 
it up, preached it zcalouHly to his board, 

Another unheard-of innovation wan his support of President 
Theodore Roosevelt's attempts to control business. It had bo- 


come an axiom of Big Business to fight every effort of the Gov- 
ernment to inspect or regulate. When Gary took the opposite 
course, applauded Roosevelt's efforts, declared that he was doing 
business good, doing him good, he was treated as a traitor by 
many colleagues. 

Well, this seemed to me as good business doctrine as I had 
come across in any concern much better, more definite and 
practical as a matter of fact than I got from most corporation 
critics. But how far was this followed up in practice? Before I 
was through I made up my mind that Judge Gary's code was 
applied just as completely and as rapidly as he could persuade 
or drive his frequently doubting and recalcitrant associates to it. 
But that took time, took frequent battles. Indeed, more than 
once he had come close to losing his official head, fighting for this 
or that plank in his platform. The Gary Code and the effort 
to put it into practice reconciled me to my task. 

Judge Gary wan an easy man to work with because he was 
HO interested in following his own story. He had been too busy 
all his life to give attention to the route by which he had come. 
Now he enjoyed the looks back. Finding that he was willing to 
take literally his promise to open records and answer questions, 
I laid out a little plan for covering his life chronologically. It 
pleased him, for he was the most systematic of men. It gave him 
delight to remember. "How a man's mind unravels!" he ex- 
claimed one clay when he had suddenly recalled something long 

Our interviews were carried on always at 71 Broadway. He 
kept IUB appointments exactly. Rarely did he keep me waiting, 
and if by necessity lie did ho always apologised. If I came late I 
was made to feel clearly that that was a tiling not to be done- 
Wink* Judge Gary was prepared to be frank in his talks with 
me lie wan not prepared to be misquoted. He evidently had learned 
that even with the best intentions a reporter may distort what 
a man has said out of all resemblance to what he meant* He 


guarded against this by always having at our interviews a sec- 
retary who took down in shorthand all that he said, all that I 
said. I made longhand notes, dictating them as soon as I went 
back to my desk. I do not remember that a question of misunder- 
standing of meaning ever came up. 

Convinced that the Gary Code was genuine, not mere window 
dressing for the public, nothing interested me more than how a 
man in his fifties who had been for twenty years a successful 
corporation lawyer was willing to preach to Wall Street as he 
had done. I finally concluded the truth to be that Elbert Gary 
had never outgrown his early bringing up. He had never gotten 
over a belief in the soundness of what he had learned in Sunday 
school and of what later he had taught through most of his man- 
hood in Sunday school. The difference between him and some 
of his fellows in business brought up in the same way was that 
he insisted that the Sunday-school precepts of honesty, consid- 
eration for others, fair play, should be preached on week days as 
well as Sundays, in the board room as well as the church. If he 
ever sensed that his preaching was both comic and irritating to 
Wall Street which I doubt ho never gave sign of such a per- 

I soon found that I need not hesitate to bring him all sorts 
of criticisms of his doings as I unearthed them in studying the 
public's reactions to the Steel Corporation's operations* They 
never fretted or irritated him; rather he enjoyed analysing 1 them 
for my benefit. He never dismissed radical opinions as nonsense. 
In the year I was working with him there was never a public 
radical meeting in New Yorkand there were a good many of 
them that year- that he did not read all the speeches, and com- 
ment ou them intelligently and with good humor* 

"We mimt know about these things, n he aul. a We must know 
all about Lenin, all about Mussolini, They are great forces ; they 
are trying new forms of government. 51 Ills knowledge prevented 
him from being scared- 


Above all Gary enjoyed stories of his struggles to establish 
his own preeminence and his own code in the Steel Corporation. 
At the start he had several of the strong men in the Corporation 
against him; but he had won out, and it gave him the greatest 
satisfaction to show me letters of congratulation, to quote for- 
mer opponents as saying, "You were right, I was wrong." Par- 
ticularly he enjoyed the very good terms on which he stood with 
Theodore lloosevelt, whose unpopularity in Wall Street sur- 
passed even that of the second lloosevelt. 

He still talked with emotion of the decision of the Government 
to bring suit against the Steel Corporation under the Sherman 
Law. lie thought he had satisfied it that the Steel Corporation 
wan not a monopoly in restraint of trade, that it was what Mark 
Twain called a good trust; and when the Attorney General's of- 
fice decided that there might be a question about the quality of 
this goodness Gary was terribly disturbed. There were advisers 
who thought he ought to try to settle the suit outside, but he 
would not have it so. The Government had doubts, and he must 
satisfy them. ITc believed that the law did not apply to the Steel 
Corporation; lie believed that the Corporation, was not contrary 
to a sound business policy, a menace to the country. That must 
be settled once for all. Of course he was jubilant over the out- 
come: it justified his conviction- 

Judge Gary had done a great job, and lie knew it; but, in- 
terestingly enough, it never made him pompous. As a matter of 
fact he was simple, natural, in talking about it. Along with this 
really simple enjoyment of lus OWE conflict he had a nice kind 
of dignity and a carefulness of conduct which were not entirely 
natxiral to him. To be sure lie had always been a good Metho- 
dist, a good cilissen, a hard-working lawyer; but at the same 
time in all these earlier years he had led what was then called a 
gay life. He had liked a fast horse, liked to hunt and sec the 
world He was curious about all kinds of human performances, 
looked into them whenever he had the chance* When he became 


the head of the Steel Corporation he could no longer sing in 
the choir he had to go to the Opera and sit in a box. He no 
longer drove fast horses. He wanted to fly, and the board of the 
Steel Corporation passed an ordinance against it too danger- 
ous. When he traveled it was more or less in state, and he couldn't 
slip out with a crowd of men at the stopping places to see the 

It was hard on him, but he felt deeply that he owed it to the 
Steel Corporation to be above reproach. Not a little of this 
carefulness was due, I think, to the effect on the public, the 
exhibits that several of the new steel men had made of them- 
selves after the Corporation was formed in 1901 and their offices 
were centered in New York. They were rich beyond their wild- 
est dreams. The restrictions of the home towns were gone, and 
they broke loose in a riotous celebration which scandalized even 
Mr. Morgan. Gary joined in nothing which approached orgies. 
He was too hard a worker and always had been, and he Haw 
with distress the effect the high living of certain of the steel men 
was having on the public. It was a danger, he felt, equal to the 
speculation in steel stock by officers of the corporation. To 
counteract it he gradually became more and more a model of 

I came out of my task with a real liking for Judge Gary and 
a profound conviction that industry has not produced one in 
our time who BO well deserves the title of industrial statesman, 
But I had to pay for saying what I thought Under the heading 
of "The Taming of Ida M, TarbelP* my favorite newspaper 
declared that I had become a eulogist of the kind of man to 
whom I was sworn as an eternal enemy. Hut Judge Gary wan 
not the kind of captain of industry to which I objected. On 
the contrary^ he wan a man who, at the frequent risk of his 
position and fortune, had steadily fought many of the privileges 
and practices to which I had been objecting. 

However* one is judged largely by the company one keeps* 


Judge Gary belonged to an industrial world where the preda- 
tory, the brutal, the illegal, the reckless speculator constantly 
forced public attention. That there was another side to that 
world, a really honest and intelligent effort in the making to 
put an end to these practices, few knew or, knowing, acknowl- 
edged. I could not complain. I knew how it would be when I 
started. But I must confess that more than once, while I was 
carrying on my work, I shivered with distaste at the suspicion 
I knew I was bringing on myself. The only time in my profes- 
sional life I feel I deserve to be called courageous was when I 
wrote the life of Judge Gary. 

My active interest in the industrial life of the country brought 
me unexpected adventures. The most instructive as well as up- 
setting was serving on a couple of those Government conferences 
which twentieth century Presidents have used so freely in their 
attempts to solve difficult national problems. An Industrial 
Conference called by President Wilson for the fall of 1919 was 
the first of these- Mr. Wilson felt clearly at the end of the War 
that our immediate important domestic problem was to establish 
sonic common ground of agreement and action in the conduct 
of Industry. What he wanted evidently was a covenant by which 
employer and employee could work out their common problems 
as cooperators, not as enemies. There was need of action, as any 
one who remembers those (lays will agree. The whole labor world 
was in an uproar, and one of the periodical efforts to organize 
the steel Industry was under way. Mr. Gompera, the head of 
the American Federation, sponsoring the strike, had had little 
or no sympathy with a contest at the moment but had been 
pushed into It by the adroitness of the radical elements boring 
from within throughout the War. 

**Theso disturbances must not go on. It should be possible to 
make plann for a peaceful aolution,'* Mr, Wilson said. 

And HO a Conference was called* In spite of my refusal to 
nerve on his Tariff Commission, President Wilson had evidently 


not given me up. As a matter of fact our acquaintance and mu- 
tual confidence had grown during the War. 

He now named me as one of four women representatives, the 
others being Lillian Wald, head of the Nurses' Settlement in 
New York City, Gertrude Barnum, assistant director of the in- 
vestigation service of the United States Department of Labor, 
and Sara Conboy of the textile workers' union. 

The Conference was an impressive and exciting body of some 
fifty persons divided into three groups representing- the public, 
labor, the employers. I, of course, sat in the first group, where 
I found as my colleagues a bewildering assortment of men from 
various ranks of life. There were Dr. Charles Eliot, Charles Ed- 
ward Russell, John D. Rockefeller, Jr., Judge Gary, John 
Spaxgo, Bernard Baruch, Thomas L. Chadbourne, Jr., and a 
score or more less known to the public, though not necessarily 
less influential. 

At the head of the labor group was Samuel Gompers. Among 
his colleagues were some of the most experienced labor leaders 
in the country. 

The members of the employer group were chosen from among 
men who had been particularly helpful in directing their iiuluH- 
tries during the War. 

There were many interesting characters on the body. Two 
that I particularly enjoyed were Henry Enclicott, who with the 
Johnsons had established the famous shoe towns near Binghara- 
ton, New York, and a delightful pungent character from 
Georgia Fuller E. Callaway -who in twenty years had built 
up from scratch mills and a village with homes and schools 
everything to give life and a chance to hard-working null people. 
Mr. Callaway's story of what he had done in Georgia was one 
of the very few joyous contributions to a gathering doomed to be 
a dismal failure. 

A body could have scarcely had a heartier welcome from the 
public than we did* People seemed to feel we should find a way 


to end the fighting; that was what we were there for. Secretary 
of Labor Wilson told us in his keynote speech. If we could pro- 
duce a document which would secure the rights of all those con- 
cerned in an industry, it would find a place in the hearts of 
men like the Magna Charta, the Bill of Rights, the Declaration 
of Independence, the Constitution of the United States and the 
Emancipation Proclamation. He brought us all to our feet all 
save a few who were too interested in political strategy to enter- 
tain a high purpose. 

We were there to plan for the future of industry. But almost 
at once we discovered that it was not peace or the future of in- 
dustry that was in Mr. Gompers' mind. Also, we discovered that 
the master politician of the body was Mr. Gompcrs. We were 
hardly organised before he called upon us to appoint a com- 
mittee to report on the steel strike. 

Dr. Charles Eliot, outraged, rose in all his very genuine maj- 
esty and reminded the body that we were not there to attend 
to the troubles of the present but to plan that such troubles might 
be avoided in the future. But the steel strike was on the table, 
and we left it there when we disbanded, a menace and an irri- 

It was not Mr. Gompcrs' resolution, however, which ruined 
the Conference. It was the inability of the representatives of 
labor and employers to agree on a definition for collective bar- 
gaining, The Conference an a whole contended that such a defini- 
tion must be a leading plank in the platform we were there to 
make 1 , but there were to be many other planks. Committees were 
at owe formed to frame them. Almost every member of the Con- 
ference, too, hud some particular resolution that lie wanted to 
incorporate. I know I did. But most of us never found an oppor- 
tunity to present our notions. Collective bargaining and what it 
meant were always getting m our way. The employer group and 
a eofwic'iernble number of the public group believed that the defini- 
tion which the* labor group offered meant a closed shop. Judge 


Gary openly charged this. But labor was quite as strong in its 
suspicion that the definition which came from the employer group 
encouraged company unions^ at that moment flourishing in num- 
bers that alarmed them. Suspicion governed both groups. 

This went on for two weeks ; then Secretary Lane, the acting 
chairman of the Conference, appealed to a very sick President, 
and from his bed Woodrow Wilson begged us not to allow division 
on one point to destroy our opportunity : 

At a time when the nations of the world are endeavoring to 
find a way of avoiding international war [he wrote], are we to 
confess that there is no method to be found for carrying on in- 
dustry except in the spirit and with the very method of war? 
Must suspicion and hatred and force rule us in civil life? Are 
our industrial leaders and our industrial workers to live together 
without faith in each other, constantly struggling for advantage 
over each other, doing naught but what is compelled? 

My friends, this would be an intolerable outlook, a prospect 
unworthy of the large tilings done by this people in the master- 
ing of this continent; indeed, it would be an invitation to national 
disaster. From such a possibility my mind turns away, for my 
confidence is abiding that in this land we have learned how to 
accept the general judgment upon matter** that affect the public 
weal. And this is the very heart and soul of democracy. 

But it was too late. The labor body walked out, except a few 
railroad men, wise and experienced in negotiation**. A group of 
employers followed them. It was defeat. There was nothing for 
the President to do but disband the Conference, He did ask, 
however, that the public group of nome twenty-five carry on. 
Now thin group included a number of extraordinarily able men* 
From them had conic some of the wisost and broadest suggestion* 
that had been placed before the Conference. They could have 
presented an impressive program, but they had been outmancu- 
vered. They lost heart ; they refused to go on. The only romarkn 
I made at that Conference, bewildered m I had been by the po- 
litical maneuvering, were when I HEW the public group prepared 


for the cowardly business of denying the President's request. 
"Let us stick to it, do our best, make some report," I pleaded. 

But I do not think anybody heard me. I had an impression 
as I talked that most of them were calculating when they could 
get a train to New York. 

My next adventure in Government service came two years 
later as a member of President Harding's Unemployment Con- 
ference. The country had been caught in the first great postwar 
depression, and nobody was ready for it. Nobody knew, indeed, 
how widespread the unemployment was. Mr. Harding called a 
conference to deal with the problem without attempting to find 
out. The result was that on one hand you had an opposition 
belittling the numbers, on the other hand you had the responsible 
sponsors of the Conference probably exaggerating them* No- 
body knew. And how easy it would have been to find out, by the 
same method the country had used in the War when, by a co- 
operative effort, the number of draftable men was counted in 
twenty-four hours at a limited expense ! 

This was an impressive Conference because of the make-up, and 
it was a mighty well conducted Conference: the chairman, Sec- 
retary of Commerce Hoover, kept it in hand from the start 
and this in spite of the fact that there were all the elements of 
conflict found in the Industrial Conference and some extra, for 
here we had rivalry between the labor groups themselves, par- 
ticularly that thorny problem of trade jurisdiction. But Mr. 
Hoover wan enormously skillful, and we came out with a pro- 
gram which, if it had been carried out with the machinery which 
the Conference devised, would have brought the country to 1929 
in a very different state of preparedness. 

After our dismissal I put together in a lecture what I con- 
ceived to be the practical conclusion of the Conference. As my 
text I uHed one of the first principles laid down, "The time to act 
in before a crisis becomes inevitable." This text was an official 
and authoritative recognition of the unpalatable fact that Imsi- 


ness always moves in cycles that a boom will be followed by a 
slump, that common sense demands preparedness. 

How prepare? The Federal Government, state, county, com- 
munity down to the smallest, was to have in reserve plans and 
money for work it wanted done that was not absolutely essential 
at the moment. When a slump started, this reserve was to be called 

Private industry was by no means let off. In good times it was 
to lay up a surplus with which to keep plants and laboratory alive 
and ready for action as soon as there was a return of orders. 
The employee was to be protected by employment insurance. 
The individual householder was to keep back certain needed re- 
pairs and improvements for the day of need. That is, everybody 
was to be ready with his life preserver. 

For two years I talked with the conviction of one who has 
a scheme he believes sound, and I was listened to with more or 
less enthusiasm, until it was obvious the slump wan passing. It 
was a bad dream well overgood times had come. Why lay plans 
for the future? By 1936 there were no longer audiences to listen 
to a talk on preparing for unemployment. Apparently every- 
body, even President Hoover, who had been the all-efficient chair- 
man of the Conference, forgot all about the program. 

On the whole my little excursions into public service were dis- 
couraging and disillusioning; but they did convince me that I 
was right when I gave as one of my reasons for not going on to 
President Wilson's Tariff Commission the fact that I was not 
fitted for the kind of work a commission or conference requires, 

I was an observer, a reporter* What interested me was watch- 
ing my fellow members in action : the silent wariness of Secretary 
Hoover; the amused and slightly contemptuous smile of Charlie 
Schwab when he heard a woman had been put on the coal commit- 
tee; the unwillingness of representatives of rival mining unions 
to do anything to relieve the immediate suffering of Went Vir- 
ginia miners, sufferings so useful in their campaigns; the stub* 


born look on the faces of those who fought over jurisdiction 
in an effort to reach an adjustment which would permit hungry 
men to take up work waiting for them ; the quick political line- 
up; the clever political plays; the gradual fade-out of the ob- 
jective, its replacement by party ambitions. 

All together it was a revealing study of the reason there is so 
little steady progress in the world. These failures joined to the 
refusal to have anything to do with the League of Nations put 
an end to my hope that the War had taught us much of any- 
thing. We were not ready for the sacrifices necessary for peace, 
nor had we grasped the natural methods by which things grow. 
We believed we could talk, petition, legislate, vote ourselves into 
peace and prosperity. We had not learned that toil and self- 
control are three-fourths of any achievement, and that toil and 
self-control begin with the individual. 

I went on with my talking in these years with a troubled mind. 
Continue this way, and we would destroy democracy. We had 
allowed, often encouraged, groups of self-interested individuals 
to have their way. That meant transformations in government 
machinery, new types of leaders, a multiplication of the children 
of privilege we had always so feared, the substitution of humani- 
tarlanism for ethics, sympathy for justice. 

I was discouraged, but I never lost faith in our scheme of 
things,, I never came to believe that we must change democracy 
for socialism or communism or a dictatorship. You do not change 
human nature by changing the machinery. Under freedom human 
nature has the best chances for growth, for correcting its weak- 
nesses and failures, for developing its capacities. It is on these 
improvements in men that the future welfare of the world de- 
pendH. So I believed, and BO I argued OH I went about, though 
sometimes, I confer, with a spirit so low that my tongue was in 
my cheek* 

Such was my growing disillusionment when in 19S6 I was 
asked to go to Italy to report on the Fascist State of Benito 


Mussolini, now four years in power, a scandal to the democracies 
at which, he openly jeered, but an even greater one to the So- 
cialists and Communists who once had thought him on the way 
to being the strongest radical leader in Europe. 

I knew little of what had gone on in Italy after the end of 
the War. I knew the parliamentary system had broken down; 
I knew there had been two years of guerrilla warfare after the 
Peace Conference, a period in which it was nip and tuck whether 
the next ruler of Italy would be Communist or Fascist. The 
Fascists under their leader Mussolini had won out, I had been 
amazed, and had never ceased to be amazed, that the dramatic 
march on Rome which ended in changing a parliamentary form 
of government into a dictatorship had been carried out without 
bloodshed. An astonished world had seen tens of thousands of 
unorganized and in part unarmed men march from every point 
in Italy to Rome, call for Mussolini, get him by order of the 
King and then march home again not a brick thrown, not a 
head broken. It was the most amazing transfer of government 
I had known of. 

But I had never given much attention to what had followed, 
I had never asked myself if it was inevitable that a dictator 
should arise in Italy. I had never asked who WAS thin man Muswo- 
lini or what was this corporate state which was emerging* 

Uneasy as I was over the way things were going in the United 
States, I vaguely felt when I was asked to go look all this tip 
that possibly there were lessons there. .'Possibly I ought learn 
something from Italy's experience about the procctm by which. 
manacles are put on free government. However, the real reason 
I went to Italy was because I was offered so large a sum that I 
thought I could not afford to refluse. 

My friends did their bent to discourage my going* Down in 
Washington a worried undersecretary who gave me my passport 
and letters of introduction told me pessimistically that I prob- 
ably should be arrested. 


"But why?" I asked. 

"Well, that is what is happening now to all our Americans. 
They drink too much, talk too much. The chief reason, as far 
as we can make out, is that they have to arrest them because 
they are attacking the government. We do the same thing here 
now and then, you know." 

In Paris my best friends, among them Mr. Jaccaci, so much 
of an Italian that he talked the dialects of several provinces, told 
me with all seriousness that I should be searched. I must not 
carry letters to members of the opposition, nor books hostile to 
Mussolini. Now I was armed with things of that sort, collected 
in Washington, New York, and Paris. I did not propose to give 
them up without a struggle. 

I was told I should find no newspapers excepting those sym- 
pathetic to the regime a serious handicap, as I always count 
largely on newspapers. I must always use the Fascist salute. I 
took this so seriously that I practiced it in my Paris bedroom. 
I must not speak French. I was counting on that, as I speak 
BO Italian, That is, I started off to Italy with a large collection 
of "don'ts" coming from people I considered informed. If I had 
not had a natural dislike of giving up an undertaking I never 
would have carried out my assignment. 

However, at the end of the first day in Rome, a very exciting 
day, I awakened to the fact that nobody had searched my bags 
for incriminating documents, that I had talked French all day, 
and that I hadn't noticed anybody using the Fascist salute, and, 
most important, that I bad found at every newspaper kiosk all 
the French and English papers side by side with the Italian. It 
gave me confidence. As a matter of fact in the four to five 
months that I was in Italy I did practically what I had planned 
to do, and nobody paid any attention to me. My mail was never 
interfered with, so far as I know. That is, none of the dire 
prophecies of interference to which I had listened at the start 
came true. 


I do not mean to say it was always easy to get to the people 
with whom I wanted to talk ; more than once, when I succeeded, 
I found the person fearful of quotation. I do not mean to say 
that I found no revolts. Down in Palermo, in corners of Milan 
and Florence and Turin, as a matter of fact almost everywhere, 
I ran across bitter critics of the new regime such as I hear every 
day in this year of 1938 of the President of the United States; 
but on the whole even good parliamentarians were accepting 
Mussolini. "He has saved the country," men told me. a We don't 
accept his methods, we don't believe in dictatorship; but it is 
better than anarchy. 35 

Making my headquarters at Rome, I went over the country 
fairly well, particularly the industrial sections. I visited Turin 
with its hydroelectric developments, its great Fiat factory, its 
artificial silk, all plants of the first order. I spent some days in 
Milan, visited the great Pirelli plant, at the moment making 
underground cables for Chicago. I saw what was left of the co- 
operatives at Bologna. I climbed into that plucky little inde- 
pendent Republic of San Marino. Mussolini had been there just 
before I arrived. They were all for him. He worked and made 
people work. That is what had made San Marino. 

I went south into Calabria, over into Sicily -alwayn looking 
for the effects of the new regime on the life of the people. There 
was no doubt sensible things were going on -redemption of land, 
extension of water power, amazing efforts at wheat production; 
and the people were accepting the regime with understanding, 
realists that they were. 

The first thing that HpringH to my mind now when I recall 
those months in Italy is a long procession of men, women, and 
children bent in labor. They harvested fields of riec% wheat* al- 
falfa, laying grain in perfect; nwathn; they wit on the ground, 
stripping and sorting tobacco leaven* Tiny girls, old women 
crowded narrow roomn, embroidering with mire fingers lovely 
designs on, linen, fine and coarae ; they cooked their meal* before 


all the world in the narrow streets of Naples ; they carried home 
at sunset from the terraces or slopes of mountains great baskets 
of grapes, olives, lemons young women straight and firm, their 
burdens poised surely on their heads, old women bent under the 
weight on their backs. They drove donkeys so laden that only a 
nodding head, a switching tail were visible; they filled the roads 
with their gay two-wheeled carts, tended sheep, ran machines, sat 
in markets, spun, weaved, molded, built a world of work. 

Mingled with these pictures of labor were equally vagrant ones 
of these same men and women at play: holiday and Sunday 
crowds filling the streets, the roads* the cinemas, the dancing 
pavilions, the squares of little towns that traced their history 
back clearly more than two thousand years. In those squares, 
gay with flags and streamers and light and booths, in the eve- 
nings, throngs held their breath as to the notes of soft music 
the lithe figures of the ropewalkers passed high overhead with 
slow and rhythmic steps* 

It was hard to realize when I looked on them that six years 
earlier these same people had been as badly out of step as they 
were perfectly in step at the present moment, that instead of 
rhythmic labor* there was a clash of disorder and revolt. Men 
and women refused not only to work themselves, but to let other 
people work* Grain died in the fields, threshing machines were 
destroyed, factories were seized, shops were looted, railway trains 
ran as Buitcd the crew- Sunday was a day, not of rest, amuse- 
ment, prayer, but of war; f6tes were dangerous, liable to be 
broken up by raids. Instead of the steady balance, orderly action, 
HO conspicuous today, were the disorganization, anger, violence of 
a people unprotected in its normal life: a people become the 
prey of a clashing political parties and not knowing where 
to look for a Moses to lead it out of their Egypt- How could it 
be, one asked, that in so brief a time a people should drop its 
clubs and pick up its tools? 

There was only one answer: Mussolini. Already he was a 


legend, a name everywhere to conjure with, I used it myself after 
I had talked with him, on. scared gentlemen to whom I had letters 
of introduction, and who feared quotation: "But Mussolini saw 
me talked with me." Nothing too much trouble after that. 

But what kind of man was this dictator? 

"You must go and see Mussolini," our able and friendly Am- 
bassador Henry P. Fletcher told me one morning while I was 
working on the Embassy's voluminous records of what had gone 
on in Italy since the end of the War. I balked. 

"I am not ready with the questions I want to ask him." 

"Oh," said Mr. Fletcher, "just go down and have a chat with 

With my notion of Mussolini gathered largely from English 
and American as well as hostile Italian sources, the word seemed 
utterly incongruous. Could one chat with this bombastic and ter- 
rifying individual who never listened, told you what to think, 
to say? Impossible. But of course I went. 

The most exciting and interesting hour and a half I spent in 
Italy was in an anteroom watching twoscore or more portions 
who were waiting to be received, watching them go in so scared, 
come out exultant, go in inflated, come out collapsed. There wan 
no one of them but was anxious, even the Admiral of the Fleet 
then at Ostia. He walked nervously about while lie wan waiting, 
adjusting his uniform, and when his turn came strode in as if 
marching in a parade, 

Nothing I saw in Italy, as I have said, was more interesting 
to me. Though I must confess that all the time there was an 
undercurrent of nervousness. What I was afraid of was that my 
French would go to pieces, provided lie gave me a chance to 
speak at allof which I had a doubt. What if I should forget 
and say "vous" instead of "volre excellence"? Should I be shot 
at sunrise? 

It was all so different from what I had anticipated* I must 
have misread and misheard the reports of interview* to have 


had such an unpleasant impression of what was waiting me. As 
I crossed the long room towards the desk Mussolini came around 
to meet me, asked me to take one of the two big chairs which 
stood in front of his desk and, as he seated me, was apologiz- 
ing, actually apologizing, in excellent English for keeping me 
waiting. As he did it I saw that he had a most extraordinary 
smile, and that when he smiled he had a dimple. 

Nothing could have been more natural, simple, and courteous 
than the way he put me at my ease. His French, in which he 
spoke after his first greeting, was fluent, excellent. I found my- 
self not at all afraid to talk, eager to do so. If he had not been 
as eager, I think I should have done all the talking, for luckily 
at once we hit on a common interest better housing. His smiling 
face became excited and stern. He pounded the table. 

"Men and women must have better places in which to live. 
You cannot expect them to be good citizens in the hovels they 
are living in, in parts of Italy." 

He went on to talk with appreciation and understanding of 
the various building undertakings already well advanced, some 
of which I had seen in different parts of the country. He talked 
at length of the effect on women of crowded, cheerless homes. 
"A reason for their drinking too much wine sometimes," he 

He was particularly interested in what prohibition was doing 
to working people in the United States, "I am dry," he said, "but 
I would not have Italy dry [ jr c] ." And he amused me by quickly 
changing sec to scche* "We need wine to keep alive the social 
sense in our hard-working people." 

Altogether it was an illuminating half-hour, and when Musso- 
lini accompanied me to the door and kissed my hand in the gallant 
Italian fashion I understood for the first time an unexpected 
phase of the man which makes him such a power in Italy. He 
might be was, I believed a fearful despot, but he had a dimple, 

I left Italy, my head alive with speculations as to the future 


of the man. There was a chance, and it seemed to me a very 
good one, that he would be assassinated. Three dramatic attempts 
were made on his life while I was there, attempts known to the 
public. There may have been others, the authorities kept quiet. 
As I was sailing there came a rash attack on him at Bologna, 
the assassin being torn to pieces^ so it was said, by an enraged 
crowd. For months after my return I watched my morning paper 
for the headline, "Mussolini Assassinated." 

Of course there was a chance so far as I could see, it was 
what Mussolini himself believed he could realize to bring Italy 
to an even keel economically, by thrift, hard work, development 
of resources and by a system of legitimate colonization in the 
parts of the earth where he could obtain land, by treaty or by 

And there was a third possibility to one at all familiar with 
the course of dictators in the world, particularly with the one 
with whom you instinctively compare Mussolini Napoleon 
Bonaparte that the day would come when he would overreach 
himself in a too magnificent attempt, an attempt beyond the 
forces of his country and so of himself, and he would finally go 
down as Napoleon went down, 

Are Ethiopia and the alliance with Franco and the rebels of 
Spain to be to Mussolini what Spain and Russia were to Na- 
poleon ? 

I was glad to breathe the air of the United States. It wa 
still free, whatever our follies. There was at that moment no dic- 
tator in sight no talk of one. But it was not Mussolini or the 
Corporate State which mattered to us : it wan what wan buck of 
them. Why had parliamentary government broken down in Italy, 
the Italy of Garibaldi, of Oavour, Victor Emmanuel? Why had a 
dictator been able to replace it with a new form of government? 
Could this happen in the government of Washington and Lin- 
coln? Those were the questions of importance to Americans. 
There was where there was omethmg to learn. 


MY CHIEF consolation in what I looked on as the manhandling 
of democratic ideals and processes in. all ranks of society, public 
and private, was Abraham Lincoln. In spite of his obvious limi- 
tations and mistakes he had won the biggest battle for freedom 
we have yet had to fight. He had done it by taking time to figure 
things out, by sticking to the conclusions he had reached so long 
as, and no longer than, they seemed to him sound, by squaring 
his conduct always with what he conceived to be just, moral 
principles. The more I knew of him, the better I liked him and 
the more strongly I felt we ought as a people to know about how 
he did things, not ask how he would solve a problem tormenting 
us, but how he would go to work to solve it. 

Feeling as I did and do about him, I have kept him always 
on my workbench. There has never been a time since the War 
that I have not had a long or short piece of Lincoln work on 
hand* The result has been five books, big and little, and a con- 
tinuous stream of articles, long and short. 

The only fresh water in this Lmcolnian stream was in a book 
I called "In the Footsteps of the Lincolns." Beginning with the 
first of the family in this country Samuel, who came in 1637 
I traced them mile by mile from Hingham, Massachusetts, where 
Samuel started, down through Massachusetts, New Jersey, Penn- 
sylvania, the Shenandoah Valley, the wilderness of Kentucky, 
flouthwe&tcrn Indiana, into Illinois, to the final resting place. I 
ran down the records that had been left behind, copied the in- 
Hcriptions on gravestones, went over houses in which they had 
lived, looked up the families into which they had married, the 

friends they had made. When I finished my journey I felt that 



I had quite definitely and finally rescued the Lincolns from the 
ranks of poor white trash where political enemies had so loved 
to place them. 

I have the satisfaction of knowing that this seven-generation 
pilgrimage of the Lincoln family has been added to the itineraries 
which enthusiastic students include in the cult of Lincoln now 
growing so strong in this country. I have never had an honor 
which pleased me more than a certificate from this group naming 
me Lincoln Pilgrim Number One. 

My conviction that we needed in all our difficulties to familiar- 
ize ourselves with good models,, sound laboratory practices led 
me to publish in 1932 a life of Owen D. Young. Mr. Young had 
impressed me as being just what I called him, U A New Type 
of Industrial Leader," And how we needed one ! I had first heard 
of him in connection with what was called the President's Sec- 
ond Industrial Conference, After what I regarded as the cow- 
ardly retreat of the members of the President's first conference 
Mr. Wilson had called a second with the same objective, a dis- 
tinguished body of men, among them Owen I). Young, 

The sessions of this conference were all secret a contrast to 
the noisy publicity which had surrounded the first gathering, and 
which had been partly responsible for its failure, the political- 
minded conferees being able in this way to speak to the country 
when they made speeches to their fellows a privilege they val- 
ued more than trying to understand and cooperate with their 

It was not long before I began, to hear rumors of the natin- 
factory way the second conference wag going awl to 'hear the 
name of Owen IX Young as the man who an much an anybody 
eke was leading to a broad, fair program of recommendations. 
His fairness, based on his experience in industrial relations, came 
as a surprise to not a few of the members of the conference, 
for Mr. Young represented the General Electric Company. 

Secretary Wilnon, who wan then at the head of the Federal 


Labor Department, declared that Mr. Young had no fear and 
no prejudice as a conferee, that he worked with an open mind. 
Attorney General Gregory said of him that there was no man 
on the conference who was so progressive in his philosophy of 
industrial relations. These opinions from the inside of the con- 
ference, followed by its admirable published report, with which 
I learned Mr. Young had had much to do, set me to following 
his work in labor matters so far as it reached the public. 

I was deeply impressed by the showing he made as a negotiator 
on the Dawes and Young committees called to settle the thorny 
problem of what reparations Germany should make to the Allies 
the first sitting in 1924 and the second, in 1929 Mr. Young 
being the chairman of the latter. 

He proved himself a negotiator of unusual quality. He knew 
the facts. He kept his head under all circumstances. He had the 
warmest kind of human sympathies as well as what one of his 
colleagues called a a superior emotional sensitiveness," which 
made him steer clear of danger points before anybody else realized 
that they were near. 

Such were the qualities, I told myself, needed in a leader to 
handle the infinitely difficult tangle In labor relations that was 
more and more disturbing industry. 

All I could do was to say so in print, and that I tried to do in 
a book that came out in 193S and had the misfortune to collide 
with a Presidential boom for Mr. Young which misguided friends 
were cooking up contrary to his wishes. It was the last thing that 
he wanted. He had the good sense to see that there were vastly 
Important things for the good of the public to be done inside 
his industry. He wanted to go on with them. He was doing a 
good job and should have been left with it, I felt. But numbers 
of admirers and interested politicians continued to cry for him 
for President until finally Mr. Young came out flat-footed to 
say that under no circumstances would he accept a nomination. 

But here was my book coming oat while this outcry was going 


on, and naturally enough political-minded reviewers took it as 
intended for a campaign biography. The point I had been try- 
ing to make, that here was somebody with rare ability to lead 
in the labor struggle, was entirely lost. I still believe that if we 
could have had him active in these past years so disheartening 
for peaceful industrial relations, the years which have set back 
so far the hope of genuine understanding cooperation inside in- 
dustry, we should have been saved the peck of trouble that we 
are now in. 

It was out of the stuff gathered in these various undertakings 
that I was depending for security. But the return from the books 
and articles of a free lance is more or less uncertain, particularly 
when they come in so sober a form as mine and are always shaped 
to fit a self-made pattern. 

I saw that I must have an annual sure if modent money crop, 
and I found it from 19&4 on in lyccum work. My two Bcasons 
on the Chautauqua platform had encouraged the lecture bureau 
to add me to its list of "talent," and it was arranged that I go 
out from four to six weeks a year beginning around Lincoln**? 
birthday when dinners and celebrations called for speakers, and 
running on into March usually five engagements a week, the 
local committees choosing the subject from the half-domi 1 of- 

These bookings covered the country from North to South and 
East to West, long and erratic journeys. Frequently I, occupied 
two different beds a night, and now and then three. It wiw brutal, 
exhaustive basinet, but I learned to climb into an upper berth 
without a fuH, to sleep on a bench if there wa no berth, to re* 
joice over a cup of hot coffee at an all-night workmen's lunch 
counter, to warm my feet by walking a platform while waiting 
for a train. By the end of the firnt acaHon i had developed a 
stoical acceptance of whatever came. This, I argued, saved nerv- 
ous wear and tear. I think now a certain amount of indignant 


protest, useless as it would have been, might have put more zest 
into my travel, as well as my talking. 

It was not only hard but lonesome business. From the day I 
started out I felt myself a detached wanderer, one who had laid 
aside personality and become a cog in the mechanism called a 
lecture bureau. My one ambition was to fill the specifications of 
the schedule and have it over with. It was not until I said good- 
bye to the last committee and was headed home that I felt the 
joyful rush of reviving personality. 

This is putting an unfair face on my experiences. These long 
railroad journeys, these nights waiting in dreary stations were 
not without their rewards. I carry no more beautiful pictures in 
my mind than those flashed on me riding across this country: 
glittering snow mountains with stars hanging over them as big 
as a moon ; miles of blossoming redbuds rising from the mist along 
an Oklahoma stream; the lovely rounded forms of the Cteark 
Mountains stretched as in sleep across Missouri ; amethyst deserts ; 
endless rolling prairies yellow with wheat or white with snow. 
These journeys took me at one time or another into every state 
m the Union, and there is no one of them in which some bit of 
remembered beauty docs not take the curse off the almost uni- 
versal disorder, even squalor of their towns and cities as I saw 
them going in and out by rail 

These long rides, these night waits, brought unforgettable 
looks into human lives. Strange how travelers will confide their 
ambitions, unload their secrets, show their sears to strangers. 
Never have I been more convinced of the supreme wisdom of the 
confessional of the Catholic Church than by the confidences 
poured into my ears in these brief and accidental meetings* Mem- 
orable and poignant though these experiences are of the country's 
beauty as well as of its hitman tragedy ami comedy* they are little 
more than a blur. The rapid and crowded succession of events 
left no time to follow up, digest^ get at the meaning, the solu- 


tlon. This was particularly tantalizing when it came to the actual 
filling of the engagement, for here you were for a time in close 
contact with a few people, your committee, and you had an hour 
or more facing an audience representative of a community. 

The committee represented authority. It was my business to 
follow its instructions, please it if I could. Its chairman was the 
first person I sought on arrival that is, the first after checking 
up on how and when I was to get away from the place at which 
I had just arrived. 

To be sure, I had careful routing, but was the train by which 
I was ordered to leave still running? Had there been a flood or 
blizzard or accident to make a detour necessary? Sometimes it 
was an exciting detour. More than once I had to go fifty or a 
hundred miles by car over flooded or snowbound roads which the 
pessimistic declared impassable, and which only an adventurous 
youth for a good round sum would undertake to negotiate* In 
one of these hold-ups I traveled two hundred miles in a freight 
car behind an engine, the first to go over the snowbound road in 
a week. More than once on these exciting detours I felt that 
probably I should not come out alive; but I always did and al- 
ways found, however late my arrival, my audience wan waiting 
me. As a matter of fact those little adventure** were highly stim- 
ulating after hours and hours of the benumbing* comfort of 

When I knew how I was to get away, I looked up the com- 
mittee. So far as I was concerned, the point at which I most fro 
quently found a serious conflict in a committee was the subject 
on which I was to talk, That was supposed to have been settlecl-^ 
I had their letter for it. But not everybody wanted me to talk 
on so-and-so. Usually I found it was because Homebody feared 
I might be too radical. They didn't want anything said on their 
platform which would antagonize the well-to-do conservative 
sponsors of the course or encourage the town'n social and eco- 
nomic rebels. 


I remember times when, after an exciting discussion behind 
the scenes, I stood in the wings waiting for the signal to come 
onto the platform while behind me the discussion went on. Only 
at the last moment did the chairman say begrudgingly, "Well, 
talk on so-and-so." But the chief objector meeting me after the 
lecture said, "I would so much have preferred to have heard you 
on so-and-so." 

But the indecision of the committee was not the only trying 
experience before I was actually on my feet and at my job. There 
was the introduction. You never knew exactly what was to hap- 
pen. As a matter of fact the introduction should and frequently 
does give opportunity for repartee, for anecdote an easy way 
for putting yourself at once on terms of friendliness with your 
audience. But I was never happy at that kind of thing. On the 
Chautauqua circuit the fashion has been for the speaker to go 
out as soon as the music was over, take his stand and begin. 
Nobody said, "This is So-and-So who will speak on so-and-so." 
Nobody told them anything about you you stood up and said 
your piece. 

The ritual on the lyceum platform was different. There they 
made the most of me, as a rule. It sometimes seemed to me that 
each successive committee had a different way of presenting me. 
Sometimes I marched out with the master of ceremonies, a man 
or woman, and was placed in an armchair while the chairman 
made remarks about me which were often bewildering. I have 
been introduced as the author of George JCcnnan's Siberian books 
and of Kdna Forber's Emma McChosuey stories. I have heard a 
long explanation of why I had never married. Once I was called 
a notorious woman by the speaker, he evidently thinking that 
the word was flattering. Often I had a bodyguard made up of 
important women of the community a tribute to my sex, 

One of the moat peculiar fashions, as well as the most trying, 
wan 'having a nccne arranged behind the drop curtain. The stage 
was turned into a pleasant sitting room, and a half-dozen of the 


leading women of the town in their best gowns were seated about 
in informal fashion. When we were all ready the curtain went 
up. There would be music, and then the chairman would tell them 
who I was, and why I was supposed to be worth their attention. 
While this was going on the audience was locating the different 
persons of importance on the stage and criticizing the setting 
and the costumes. 

One going as a lecturer to the most remote parts of the country 
that support a lecture course may think he will be a treat, but 
if he has any sensibility he will soon discover that, far from 
that, he usually has a critical audience. It is interested in what 
he has to say, treats him with courtesy and respect; but it han 
also had experience with scores of lecturers in past years and 
compares his matter and his manner with theirs* I have been in 
towns in the Middle West where they had heard Thackeray and 
Dickens read, had listened to Kmerson and Brorison Alcott, and 
had heard every popular lecturer in all the years since their day, 

Your real opportunity to judge of the intelligence and alert- 
ness of the community comes while you are speaking, .Look 
for an hour or more into the faces of a group of men and women 
who, whatever they may think of you, are courteous enough to 
give you their attention, and you know soon what certain indi- 
viduals think of what you are saying. Always I found myself 
speaking to someone who I knew heartily disagreed with me, 
someone I felt I would like to convince* Always 1 knew that there 
was a man waiting to challenge me* Usually those challenges came 
from Socialists or Single Taxcrs, If an opportunity was given 
to ask questions after my talk (something which I always en- 
couraged) they were the first on their feet. The community knew 
them and knew what their questions would be, awl frequently 
laughed at them* But a really good audience enjoys Hceing a 
speaker heckled a bit and the Hfwaker, if hcs w really mtorentect 
in his buBinoNH, is glad to take the heckling. I know nothing 
better for a lecturer who in going over the same argument* night 


after night than to know that there will probably be somebody 
in his audience who will seize the first opportunity to pick on 
a weak point, challenge his generalization, his facts. If that 
happens you always go away from your lecture better equipped 
than you came to it. 

In the twelve years in which I regularly made an annual lec- 
ture trip I gave up the work in 1932, finding it too much for 
my strength in all those twelve years I everywhere found the 
liveliest absorption in national policies. People told you how 
they felt about an undertaking, how it was working out in 
their particular community important, for here you had the 
test of the pudding in its eating. It was what I saw of the work- 
ings of prohibition in the 1920 ? s that drove me to do one of 
the most unpopular things I ever did that was to tell bluntly 
how I saw it working in hotels from one end of the land to the 
other, disheartening evidences of its effect on the young, the 
unexpected dangers it brought to a woman traveling alone at 
night, both in stations and on trains. I set down what I had seen 
over a wide range of territory, what I had heard from the mouths 
of men and women who had been ardent prohibitionists, and 
who were appalled by the things that were happening particu- 
larly to youth in their own communities. 

I had never been a prohibitionist in principle. My whole the- 
ory for the improvement of society is based on a belief in the 
discipline and the education of the individual to self -control and 
right doing, for the Bake of right doing. I have never seen 
fundamental improvements imposed from the top by ordinances 
and lawn. I believed that the country was gradually learning 
temperance*. But if prohibition could be made to work I was will- 
ing it should be tried* But what I saw in these years had led 
me by 19SB to feel that something unexpected and very disas- 
trous was going on, and that it muBt be faced^ not hidden. It 
wan the most important observation that my crowded lecture 
days yielded, but as I say it brought me bitter criticism and 


BOW and then an intimation from some indignant woman of power 
and parts that I had sold myself to the liquor interests. One 
lady even intimated that if she had known that my pen was 
for sale she would have bid for it. This kind of criticism, how- 
ever, is one of the things that one who says what he thinks must 
be prepared to meet. It is very difficult to believe that those 
who disagree with you are as convinced of the right of their 
point of view as you are, that they are not being bribed or 
unduly influenced, have no selfish purpose as you are sure you 
have not. 

Two generalizations topping all others came out of this going 
up and down the land in the years between 19&0 and 1932. The 
first is the ambition of our people to live and think according 
to what they conceive to be national standards. They adopt them 
whether they suit their locality or not, and often in adopting 
them destroy something with individuality and charm. For the 
traveler it begins with the hotel, spick and span, and as like 
as two peas to the one in A-villo B-ville and so on. Over the 
way is a sturdy stone building dating from the days of the 
coach and four. You may sigh for its great rooms and for a 
sight of the old lithographs sure to be on the wall, but you know 
it is run down. The town cannot support two, and it prefers 
the smart and comfortable commonplace to modernizing its fine 
old inn* 

Look out your hotel window and you will aee opposite a nmart 
little dress shop, a duplicate of one you have been weeing every- 
where you have halted, a duplicate of many a one you have neen 
on New York avenues. Next door i a titandardizcd beauty par- 
lor, and the pretty girl who waits on you at the table, the 
daughter probably of some solid and elf-repecting townnman, 
has the latest coiffure and blood-red nails* She in struggling 
to look an he supposes girls do in Chicago or New York. 

When the committee takes you out to drive it in to show their 
one high building, a high building on a prairie with lumtleiw 


land to occupy, or a country club as fine as the one in the near- 
est city. The pride is in looking like something else, not them- 
selves. The growth of this progress in imitation can be traced 
in the change that has come over the local postal card. All my 
life I have been a buyer of postal cards, largely on account of 
my mother, to whom I always sent pictures of the localities 
through which I was passing. Mother died in 1917, but up to 
this day I rarely go through a station that I do not say to 
myself, "I must find a card for Mother" and turn away with 
a pang. In the years between 1920 and 1932 the postal card 
grew steadily less interesting. Once there were pictures of a 
near-by fort, the earliest house, a local celebrity, a rare view, but 
now it is all of high buildings and new blocks. They give of 
course the pictures of the Zoo and the parks, and even the 
Zoo and the parks pride themselves, like the country club, on 
their resemblance to those of the nearest large city. 

The growing evidence that nationalization is blotting out local 
individuality, destroying the pungent personality of sections, 
states, communities, struck me with new force after the months 
I spent in Italy in 1926. In Italy I had found that, however 
deeply unionism might be written in the hearts of some men, 
you were a Roman, a Pcrugian, a Venetian, a Neapolitan be- 
fore you were an Italian. The long arm of Fascism was reaching 
Into the provinces ancl the towns* but it did not as yet disturb 
their ways of life, Mussolini had shown, up to that date, rare 
knowledge of Ins Italians. He had left them their ways. Sure of 
them, they did not worry so much about the change in govern- 
ment- Most of them could sec about them the proofs of two 
thousand years of change ; they could show you records and scars 
of a long succession of emperors, kings, consuls, dictators. It 
did not seem to make a vast difference to them what the govern- 
ment was if they could go on being themselves. 

Perhaps our national ambition to standardize ourselves has 
behind it the notion that democracy means standardization. But 


standardization is the surest way to destroy the initiative, to 
benumb the creative impulse above all else essential to the vital- 
ity and growth of democratic ideals. 

The second of my two generalizations was slower in its making. 
It came when I began to scratch below the surface of the imitative 
life so conspicuous. Then I found a stable foundation of people 
who stayed at home and went about their business in their own 
way and without much talking. These were people who in spite 
of droughts and dust storms stuck to their farms, making the 
most of good years, saving enough to carry them through the 
evil ones, adding a little, year by year, to their possessions in 
town and country, supporting schools, churches, and incidentally 
lecture courses, They were people who believed in freedom to 
work out their own salvation and asked from the state nothing 
more than protection in this freedom. It was the business of 
government, as they saw it, to keep off the plunderers and let 
them alone. 

Democracy to them was not something which insured them a 
stable livelihood. It was something which protected them while 
they earned a livelihood. If they failed it waa their failure* If 
the Government did not protect them from transportation plun- 
derers, manipulations of money, stock gambling in goods which 
they raised to feed the world, it was the Government's failure* 
Then they had the right to change the Government, hold it up 
to its duty. That was their political buflincMfl. 

This was about what I found, the country over. When once* 
I had learned to look beyond the restlew imitative crowd, to 
hunt out people who were going* about their businoHH steadily, 
and for the mont part serenely, I began to breathe more freely 
and to say ; a Well, perhajw, after all, the men and women of thw 
country as a whole do know what they are about. They do know 
what democracy means, and in the best way that they can under 
many hampering circumstances they are trying to live it*" 

Some such conclusion I always brought back with me from 


my annual swings around the country, my dozens of nights in 
dozens of different places the high spot of which always was 
the hour of searching the faces of the men and women who came 
to listen to what I had to say, and who, I knew, sized me up for 
just about what I was worth. I might be fooling myself but 
not them. 


HERE then is the record of my day's work still unfinished at 
eighty. Nobody can be more surprised than I am that I am 
still at work. Looking forward at life at thirty, forty, fifty, sixty, 
generally finding myself tired and a little discouraged, having 
always taken on things for which I was unprepared, things which 
were really too big for me, I consoled myself by saying, "At 
seventy you stop." I planned for it. I would burrow into the 
country, have a microscope my old love. I knew by this time 
that was not the way for me to find God, but I expected to have 
a lot of fun watching the Protozoa and less anguish than watch- 
ing men and women. 

But I discovered when seventy came that I still had security 
to look after. I could make it by seventy-five, I thought* But I 
did not. And 1 have come where 1 am with a conHcioxitmcHH that, 
so long as my head holds out, I shall work* More important, I 
am counting it as one of my blessings. In spite of the. notion 
early instilled into me that the place of the aged i in the corner 
resignedly waiting to die, that there is no place for their day's 
work in the scheme of things, that they no longer will have either 
the desire or the power to carry on, I find thmgn to do which 
belong to me and nobody eke. 

It is an exciting discovery that ilnn can be BO, Old age need 
not be what the textbooks iwsure iw it i. Shakespeare* i wrong. 
Cicero, dull as he in in comparison, In more nearly right* More* 
it can be an adventure. My young friend* laugh at me when 
I tell them that, In spite of creaking joints and a tremulous handy 
there are satisfactions peculiar to the period, satisfaction dif- 



f erent from those of youth, of middle life, even of that decade of 
the seventies which I supposed ended it all. 

I have been finding it a surprising adventure, if frequently 
disillusioning and disturbing, to review my working life, to pick 
out what seems to be the reason for my going here and not there, 
for thinking this and not that. It has been a good deal like renew- 
ing acquaintance with a friend I had not seen since childhood. 
Probably the reason for this is that I have never stopped long 
enough after any one piece of work to clean up, valuate what 
I had done. Always a new undertaking was on my table before 
I was finished with what went before. Packing boxes and letter 
files of badly classified material still clutter up my small space 
with the physical evidence of the incompleteness of every piece 
of work I have undertaken. 

This explains why telling my story has been so full of sur- 
prises. "I did not realize I felt that way," I have told myself 
more than once, **I had forgotten I did that." "I cannot imagine 
why I thought that," 

I took on self-support at the start that I might be free to 
find answers to questions which puzzled me. After long flounder- 
ing 1 blundered into man's old struggle for the betterment of 
his life. 

My point of attack has always been that of a journalist after 
the fact, rarely that of a reformer, the advocate of a cause or 
a system. If 1 was tempted from the strait and narrow path of 
the one who seeks for that which is so and why it is BO, I sooner 
or later returned* This was partly because of the humor and 
common sense of my associates on McClure's and The American 
MoflaawW) and partly because the habit of accepting without 
question the teachings and conventions of my world was shattered 
when in girlhood I discovered that the world was not created in 
six clays of twenty-four hours each. That experience aroused me 
to questioning, qualifying even what I advocated, which no first- 
class crusader can afford to do. 


I have never had illusions about the value of my individual 
contribution ! I realized early that what a man or a woman does 
is built on what those who have gone before have done, that its 
real value depends on making the matter in hand a little clearer, 
a little sounder for those who come after. Nobody begins or ends 
anything. Each person is a link, weak or strong, in an endless 
chain. One of our gravest mistakes is persuading ourselves that 
nobody has passed this way before. 

In our eagerness to prove we have found the true solution, we 
fail to inquire why this same solution failed to work when tried 
before for it always has been tried before, even if we in our 
self-confidence do not know it 

We are given to ignoring not only the past of our solutions, 
their status when we took them over, but the variety of relation- 
ships they must meet, satisfy. They must sink or wim in a stream 
where a multitude of human experiences, prejudices* ambitions, 
ideals meet and clash, throw one another back, mingle, make 
that all-powerful current which is public o pin ion- '-the trend 
which swallows, digests, or rejects what we give it- It in our 
indifference to or ignorance of the multiplicity of human ele- 
ments in the society we seek to benefit that IH responsible for 
the sinking outright of many of our fine plans* 

There arc certain exhibits of the eighty years I have lived 
which particularly impress me* Perhaps the firnt of these is the 
cyclical character of man's nature and uctiviticH. If I separate 
my eighty years 1857 to 1987 -into four generations, i*xam 
ine them, compare my findings, I find startling similarities in 
essentials. Take the effort to create, distribute, and we wealth, 
How alike are the tips and downs that have marked that effort! 

I was born in the year of a major panic* Tin* cleprenHion which 
followed it waa smothered in war* That war over, quickly there 
followed in 1866 a aeriouH depression- ""-world-wide. In 1873 came 
a major panic, When this first period came to an end m 1877 


the country was still deep in the clutch of the unhappy depres- 
sion which followed that panic. 

Each of my three successive generations beginning in 1877, 
1897, 1917, has featured a "major" panic followed by five to 
seven years of depression. Then has come a brilliant short-lived 
recovery ending in what we euphoniously call today a recession. 

My fifth generation, just opening, promises well to duplicate 
its predecessor. If I live ten years longer I no doubt shall see 
another major panic, and one still more difficult for the produc- 
tive individual or group to handle because the practice of follow- 
ing the provident ant's example and storing up in the good time 
reserves to meet the bad has been made a political offense. 

Each generation repeats its leaders. Each sees men endowed 
with superior inventiveness, energy, and genius for business, in- 
spired by love of power and possession, launch selfish schemes 
Carncgies, Rockefellers, Goulds. If each of these strong men left 
something sinister behind, each also contributed to higher living 
standards and hurried on the nationalisation of the country. 
The public without whom they could not have lived a day saw 
in their greedy grandiose tmclertakings whatever was for its 
benefit, and took it while ordering its government to control 
whatever wan sinister. 

And while they built and served and exploited, other men en- 
dowed with far greater idealism than practical sense planned new 
forms of government, new laws, advertised panaceas, all guaran- 
teed to produce security and justice. Each generation has had 
its Henry George, its Bellamy, its Bryan, intent on persuading 
mankind that he had found the way, could lead men to the good 

In each generation employer and employee have faced the 
decision war or cooperation. If war has been the answer in the 
majority of case there have always been those who have gone 
ahead building up a great mass of evidence of what men inspired 


by good will, free from suspicion and self-interest, can do in 
industry by patient cooperative experiments. 

Side by side with these exhibits have gone magnificent gov- 
ernmental attempts to correct abuses, to make man's life in the 
Republic freer, securer, more just, efforts to carry out the avowed 
purpose of the government we started a hundred and fifty years 
ago. And these efforts are alike in essentials the New Deal of 
Franklin Roosevelt, the New Freedom of Woodrow Wilson, the 
Square Deal of Theodore Roosevelt, the fight for a larger free- 
dom of opportunity of Grover Cleveland, the struggle to wipe 
out slavery of Abraham Lincoln* 

Again and again in these generations have we seen the great 
airship of democracy lift from the ground, stagger, gather itself 
together, soar, sail, while those who had chosen the pilot and 
loaded in his cargo watched the flight with confidence and exul- 
tation* This time their dream had come true. 

But the ship has always come back, its journey unfinished, and 
doubters have jeered at those who believed in it, cried out that 
it would never fly, that freedom, equal opportunity were only 
foolish fancies; men, they gloated, function only tinder strong 
single rulers. Dictatorship alone makes efficient government- - 
national power and glory, The state, not the individual, in the 

There is no denying that these repeated failures or half-Hue- 
cesses have made cynics of many who have had a hand in the 
flights, or at least been sympathetic watcher*). 

It has been sickening to Bee hopes grow dim under the ham- 
mering of reality, to gee a generation lose it first grand fire 
and sink into apathy, cynicism. One asks oneaclf if man has the 
staying power ever to realize his ideals. One w inclined when 
this hour of futility comes to agree with Arthur Balfour that 
human life is but a disreputable episode on one of the minor 
planet*. An far as I am concerned that smart and cynical esti- 
mate never could stand a good night's sleep. 


If I find little satisfaction or hope in examining and compar- 
ing one by one my four successive generations, I find considerable 
in looking at them as a whole. When I do that, I see not a group 
of cycles rolling one after another along a rocky and uneven 
road but a spiral the group moves upward. To be sure it is 
not a very steady spiral, but I am convinced that is the real 

Could there be greater evidence that this is true than that the 
world as a whole has today come to conscious grips over that 
most fundamental of problems: Shall all men cooperate in an 
effort to make a free, peaceful, orderly world, or shall we con- 
sent that strong men make a world to their liking, forcing us 
to live in it? more than that, train us to carry it on? 

It is well that the issue should be clear, so clear that each of 
us must be forced to choose. 

Even more hopeful, if not so clear to many people, is the 
increasing knowledge that we are getting of man as an indi- 
vidual and as a mass, coming to us particularly from men of 
science. What we have yet to find out, apparently, is what we 
can expect of man under this or that circumstance, what words 
and what promises stir him, what persuades Mm to cooperation 
or to revolt, why he follows a particular type of leader at a 
particular time and how long he can be counted on. Once we 
know better what we can get out of man under particular cir- 
cumstances we can plan our action with something like the cer- 
tainty with which the electrician plans his machine. He knows 
the nature of the current, what it will do and not do. He puts 
no attain on it which experiment has proved fatal, 

Whew we reach that knowledge and control of human forces 
we shall know why the League of Nations works so badly, why 
we have before us the terrible and apparently uncheckable 
shambles of Spain and China, why an intolerable outbreak of 
racial and religious prejudice should shame im at this period of 
our history, why we must be prepared to meet the savage out- 


breaks o men and peoples still contemptuous of contracts, un- 
amenable to ideals of honor, peace, and conciliation. 

One consolation in any effort to socialize and democratize our 
plans of life is that the mass of men want a simple world. In 
every country they ask little more than security, preferably of 
their own making, freedom to build in the way they like so far 
as possible. They will follow any system or any leader that 
promises them that. Politicians would do a better job for men 
if they wrote fewer constitutions, devised fewer automatic cures, 
gave more attention to disciplining and training common men 
and women the world over to honest labor, to cooperation with 
their fellows, to sacrifice when necessary, keeping alive in them 
their natural spark of freedom. 

How are we going to do it? That is the gravest question we 
face. In 19S1 I went to Washington to report Secretary Hughes* 
Conference on the Limitation of Armament*?* It seemed to me 
that I had better do some preliminary reading on the problem**, 
so I went to a wise man at the Carnegie Kndowment for Inter- 
national Peace for advice. He turned out to be a philosopher* 

"First, 9 * said he, "read *I)on Quixote 9 : he will tell you what 
they cannot do. Then read Aesop's Fables: that will tell you 
what they can do. But above all read the King James Vermont 
of the Bible, which tells you that peace on earth is promiNcd 
only to men of good will," 

There you have it* If we want peace we nuwt make men of 
common gense, knowing what can be clone and what cannot be 
done, alno men of good will* 

How are we to do that? I ace no more promising path than 
each person sticking to the work which corner hin way* The 
nature of the work, ifa seeming mm and importance matter 
far kn& than its right relation to the place where he find* him* 
clf. If the need at the moment in digging a ditch or washing 
the dfcheg, that at* the greatest thing in the world for the moment. 


The time, the place, the need, the relation are what decide the 
value of the act. 

It is by following this natural path that new and broader 
roads open to us, moments of illumination come. There is the 
only reliable hope of the world. It takes in all of us but puts it 
up hard to each of us to fit the day's work into the place where 
we stand, not crowding into another's place: no imitation, no 
hurry, growth always, knowing that light and power come only 
with growth, slow as it is. 

Madame Curie so saw it. Asked what a woman's contribution 
to a better world should be, she replied that it began at home, 
then spread to those immediately connected, her immediate 
friends, then the community in which she lived; and if the work 
proved to meet a need of the world at large it spread there. 
But the important thing was the beginning, and that beginning, 
Madame Curie insisted, was in the home, the center of small 

Work backed by such a faith makes life endurable. I doubt 
if I could have come into my eighties with anything like the 
confidence I feel in the ultimate victory of freedom, the ultimate 
victory of man's self-respect, if I had not groped my way 
through work into some such faith. 

I know I should find this end of life less satisfactory if it were 
not a working end, conditioned as it must be by certain conces- 
sions to yeara, easements necessary if I am to keep vigor for 
my two or three hours a day at my desk and, once accepted, 
becoming more and more enjoyable* 

No one can imagine what a satisfaction it is to me to find that 
I need wot go to conferences and conventions and big dinners. 
That job belongs to youth. It alone has the appetite, the diges- 
tion, the resilience for the endless talk and late hours of those 
functions, also the confidence that salvation is to be reached 
through them. 

Still more satisfactory is the acceptance of the fact that I have 


not the strength to run about on trains and give lectures. That, 
too, is the job of young people, and the best I can hope for 
them in carrying it on is that they will learn as much about 
people as I think I did. The humility which that will engender 
will be all to their good. 

A discovery which has given me joy, and which had some- 
thing of the incredible about it, is the durability of friendship 
born at any period in one's life. I have enlarged in this narrative 
only on professional friendships, those that belong legitimately 
to my day's work, but this discovery does not cover them alone 
but all the range from childhood to now. 

Circumstances, time, separations, may have completely broken 
communication. The break may have been caused by complete 
divergence of opinion, differences as grave as those which caused 
the breaking up of our old McClure crowd, as grave as the 
ghastly separations that war brings ; but yoxt pick up at the day 
when the friendship was not broken but interrupted. 

One of the most beautiful personal demonstrations 1 have had 
of this unbreakable quality in friendship was a birthday party 
which S. S. McClure gave Viola Roaoboro, John "Phillips, and 
myself when he was seventy-eight, and I close to it. Miss lloHoboro 
had stayed with Mr- McClure when the rest of nn left him. That 
had never made a rift in anybody's relations with her, and now 
we all sat down together as once we had at clown in the old 
Si Deni% the old Antor, the old Holland IIcme~liinehing placcw 
that marked the ntaffcs by which AfcClimf worked itself suc- 
cessively into better quartern, went uptown. And we talked only 
of the things of today* as we always had done* We Hat enthralled 
SB in the old yearn while Mr, MeOlure enlarged on bin latent 
enthusiasm, marveling an always at the eternal youthftilnesn in 
the man, the failure of life to quench him. 

One of my great satinf actions haa been a revival of curiosity* 
I lost it in the 19$0'g and early 1930'n, Human affairn seemed 
to me to be headed for coll&pBc* War wan not over, and men 


were taking it for granted it was. The failure of the hopes of 
previous generations had taught us nothing. The sense of disaster 
was strong in me. What I most feared was that we were raising 
our standard of living at the expense of our standard of char- 
acter. If you believed as I did (and do) that permanent human 
betterment must rest on a sound moral basis, then our house 
would collapse sooner or later. 

It was taking a longer view, looking at my fifty years as a 
whole, that revived me, I thought I saw a spiral, was eager to 
prove it. 

Once more I am curious. It is an armchair curiosity no longer 
can I go out and see for myself; but that has its advantages. 
It compels longer reflection, intensifies the conviction that taking 
time, having patience, doing one thing at a time are the essen- 
tials for solid improvement, for finding answers. Perhaps, I tell 
myself, I may from an armchair find better answers than I have 
yet found to those questions which set me at my day's work, 
the still unanswered questions of the most fruitful life for women 
in civilisation, the true nature of revolutions, even the mystery 
of God. It is the last of the three which disturbs me least. The 
greatest of mysteries, it has become for me the greatest of 


Adams, Dr. Herbert B., 76 
Addams, Jane, 273, 279, 305, 309, 

810, 312, 313, 322, 384, 349, 354 
Agassis, Louis, 41, 4*2 
Alber, Louis, 300 
Alden, Timothy, 37-39 
Aldrieh, Esther Tarbell (niece), 

264, 265, 359 
Allegheny College, 34-47, 58, 64, 

89, 142 
American Federation of Labor, 82, 

American Magasine, The, 255, 259, 

261, 265-267, 270, 274, 276, 281, 

282, 288, 292, 293, 297-300, 306, 

807, 827, 350, 353, 359, 365, 399 
Anderson, Mary, 55, 323, 349 
Anderson, Maxwell, 807 
Anthony, Susan B, 31-8.3., 40, 327 
Arehboicl, John 1)*, 220, 221, 232 

Baker, Ray Stannard, 196, 197, 242, 

258, 261, 266, 274, 279, 282, 292, 

299, 850 

Barton Lineolniana, 170, 171 
Ihweher-Tilton scandal, 88 
Bell, Alexander Graham, 44, 147, 


Bellamy, Edward, 83, 401 
Bcntley, William, 88, 89 
Berkman, Alexander, 126 
Blane, Madame (Theodore Bent- 

on), 100, 101 
Blivcxt, Bruce, S07 
Bloomer, Amelia, 81 
Bonaparte, Napoleon, 180, 146- 

158, 155, 156^ 150, 161, 164, 205, 


Bonnet, Madame, 90, 103-106, 110, 

112, 114, 116-118 
Bonta House, 19, 205 
Borgeaud, Charles, 131, 145, 350 
Boyden, Albert, 258, 261, 262, 266, 

Bryan, William Jennings, 355, 356, 


Bugbee, Dr. Lucius, 85, 43 
Burlinghame, Edward L., 98-100 
Burroughs, John, 308 

Catt, Carrie Chapman, 820-322, 


Chautauqua Assembly, 65-72 
Chautauqua Circuit, 800-305, 314, 

329, 852-856, 888-397 
Chautauqua Literary and Scientific 

Circle, 69-71, 81 
Chautauquan, The f 64, 71-79, 81- 

83, 85-89, 94, 98, 179, 204, 211, 


Cherry Tlim, 4, 5, 8, 10 
Claflin, Tennessee," 82, 33 
Claude, Monsieur, 97 
Cleveland, Grover, 88, 149, 268- 

272, 402 

Coppfic, Francois, 122, 128 
Corrigan, James, 287, 288 
Craft, Amos Norton, 27, 28 

Dana, Charles A., 174-177 
Darmcstcter, James, 181 
Daudot, Alphonse, 122, 126, 127 
Dclamator, Wallace, 7D 5 80 

Dieukfoy, Madame, 101, 102 
Doremus, Dr. E. Ogden, 65, 66 
Duffus, Robert L v 807 




Dumas, Alexandra, 122 
Duncan, Andrew J., 60, 61 
Dunne, Finley Peter (Mr. Dooley), 
259-261, 265, 300, 361 

Edison, Thomas A., 64, 310 
Ely, Dr. Richard T., 76 
Emery, Fred Parker, 114* 
Emery, Lewis, Jr., 231-234, 236, 
237, 252 

Fairchild, David, 183 

Finley, Dr. John H., 70, 76, 77, 

171, 172 
Fisk, Jim, 22 
Flagler, Henry, 217-220 
Fletcher, Henry P., 882 
Flood, Dr, Theodore L., 64, 72-75, 

Ford, Henry, 287-203, 200, 809- 


Gary, Judge Elbert H., 285, S64r- 


Gautier, Judith, 102, 108 
Gautier, Thfiophilc, 102 

George, Henry, 88, 401 
Gilford, Walter 8., 820, 325 
Gilder, Jeanncttc L, 260 
Gladden, Dr. Washington, 240 
Gompers, Samuel, 285, 849, 871- 


Gould, Jay, 22, 25 
Graygon, David, 307. See aim 

Baker, Kay Stannard 
Groavonor, Gilbert II,, 188 
Grtimblne, Annette, 46 

Hanna, Mark, 60, 01 

Harding, Warren G., 875 
Ha#kin*f, George* 44-45, 47 
HaflHG, Adelaide, 209 

Hay, John, 16*2-164, 160, 100 

Haymarkttt riot* 82 

Haacn, Charles 1)., 114-110, 1*5, 


Hciiurc, F, Augtwtua, 228, 2 

Henderson, Josephine, 89 

Henry, Mary, 89, 90, 98 

Herr, Lucien, 182, 138, 145 

Hess, Ida, 15 

Hess, M. E., 15 

"History of the Standard Oil Com- 
pany, The," 202, 206, 289-241, 
244, 258, 361-364 

Hoar, George Frisbie, 190-195 

Hoch, E. W., 249 

Hoggson, Ella, 265 

Hoggson, Noble, 265 

Holland Land Company, 87 

Hoover, Herbert, 321, 875, 876 

Howe, Frederic C., 809 

Hubbard, Gardiner Green, 147, 
149-152, 180-182, 185 

Hubbard, Mrs. Gardiner Green, 
149, 150, 180, 181, 190 

Jaccaci, Aufluste, 158, 159, 887, 

340, 850, U52 t 879 
James, Henry, 45 
Janaacn, Pierre Julcn C/war 1*^0 
Jewctt/Rutgcr B., 1164, HCI5 
Jordan, David Starr, 806, 807> 840, 


Kellogg, Clara Lotil<% S4 
Kennan, George, 302, 891 

Lang-ley, Samuel Pierpcmt, 188-185 

LapiqtiCt Lonl, 145, 350 

Lathropt JwHt C., 324 

L<*e, B. F M 40, HC) f 5H 

Leigh, William IL, 172 

Lincoln, Abraham* 8, 11, 12, 51), 

1CH -175, 177" 180, 1BCI, 206, 2#tt f 

288, /J7, 8<!0, *14aHO l 402 
Lincoln, Robert Todd, 50, HI0-170, 


Livmnon*, Mary A*, B2 
Lloyd, Hinry I). t 204, 200, f J10 t 

214, 2*11,233, MO 
Lynch, Thomnm M0, 27, *J!I1 
n, MM. Emily, 160-11111, HIS 



McClure's Magazine, 121, 124, 126, 
141, 145, 147, 153, 154, 157- 
160, 177, 184, 186, 187, 190, 195- 

198, 202, 206, 211, 212, 225-227, 
231, 240, 242, 254-259, 261, 262, 
269, 282, 288, 297, 299, 353, 363, 
364, 399, 406 

McClure, S. S., 118-123, 141, 146- 
150, 151, 154-156, 158, 160-165, 
168, 173, 175-177, 184, 188, 196, 

199, 200, 202, 205, 206, 210-212, 
215, 239, 254-258, 363, 406 

McClure's Syndicate, 100, 103, 118, 

155, 175 

McCoy, Adrian, 73 
MeCullough, Esther Ann (mother), 

1-3, 5-13, 16, 17, 20-22, 81, 32, 

84, 85, 68, 98, 116, 117, 144-146, 

208, 857, 395 
McCullongh, Walter Raleigh 

(grandfather), 1, 3 
MeKinley, Abner, 60 
McKinley, William, 58-62, 186, 

187, 189, 207, 268 
Mahftfly, Dt, J. P., 77, 78 
Mttrillicr, Madame C6dle, 132, 183,, 

185, 189, 141, 142, 145, 887, 889, 


Marillicr, L6on, 181, 182, 138 
Marx, Karl, 1815 
Mead, David, 87 
Mcadvillc, Pa,, 88, 64, 72, 74, 76, 

79, 141, 202 
Mc'dill, Joseph, 178 
Milcg, General Nelson Appleton, 


Miller, Hugh, 27, 28 
Miller, Lewis, 64, 615, 67, 69 
Montague, Gilbert Holland, 240, 

24<1 ' 

Morac, John T M 167, 168 
Miwuoiini, Iknito, 868, 877, 878, 

880-884, 885 

Nestor, Agnc*, 822, 828 

Nleolay, John G. ? 162-166, 160 
NorriH, Kathleen, 

Oil City, Pa., 11, 117 
Oil Creek, 4, 8, 18, 14, 244 

Pasteur, Louis, 120-122 

Pasteur, Madame Louis, 120-122 

Perry, J. Leslie, 175, 176 

Petroleum Center, 14, 15 

Phillips, John S., 103, 119, 141, 
156-160, 165, 175, 197, 199, 202, 
205, 210, 211, 215, 229, 239, 254, 
257-260, 262, 266, 274, 281, 292, 
297, 300, 336, 406 

Pithole, 10, 19, 20, 204, 205 

Poland Union Seminary, Poland, 
Ohio, 48-59, 62-65, 81, 85 

Pure Oil Company, 204, 231 

Red Cross Magazine, 325, 336, 350 
Eeed, Jack, 266, 267 
Robinson, A. Mary F., 131, 140 
Rockefeller, Frank, 237, 238 
Rockefeller, John D., 25, 211, 214, 

215, 217, 219, 220, 233-240, 243, 

Rogers, Henry H., 10, 24, 25, 211- 

282, 234, 365 
Roland, Madame, 85, 86, 93, 99, 

100, 112, 124, 125, 130-132, 136- 

140, 143, 144, 146, 148, 153 
Roosevelt, Franklin Delano, 67, 

369, 402 
Roosevelt, Theodore, 189, 190, 211, 

229, 241, 242, 251, 252, 271, 272, 

275-277, 806, 866, 867, 369, 402 
Roscboro, Viola, 13, 197, 198, 406 
Rouse, Henry, 8 
Eouscvfllc, 9, 10, 14, 15, 19, 21, 24, 

135, 218 

Sabin, Dr. Florence, 120 
Schurss, Carl, 177, 178 
Sehwimmer, Madame Rosika, 809, 


Scrilmw** Magazine, 97, 88, 118, 

1 24, 144, 145, 158 
Sttignobos, Charles, 132-186, 138, 

145,837, 849,350 


Shaw, Dr. Anna H., 318-322, 326- 

829, 336 

Sherman Antitrust Law, 252 
Shotwell, Dr. James T., 349 
Siddall, John M., 211, 234-2S7,, 

258, 266, 299, 307, 308 
Simon, Jules, 123 
Sloane, William Milligan, 152 
South Improvement Company, 28- 

25, 208, 214, 218-220, 227 
Spofford, Ains worth, 150, 151 
Standard Oil Company, 10, 24, 25, 

83, 202, 203, 206-212, 214-216, 
218-223, 225, 226, 228-282, 23-1, 
287-241, 24*0, 244, 249-253, 267, 
268, 299, 362-364; "History" of, 
see "History" 

Stanton, Elizabeth Cady, 81-33, 40, 


Stanton, Theodore, 99 
Steed, H. Wiokham, 135, 186, 204, 

Steffens, Lincoln, 198-202, 256,, 

258, 274, 282, 207, 298 

Tarbell, Franklin Simmer (father), 
1-6, 8, 10-22, 24, 25, 27, SI, 82, 

84, 48, 46, 53, 68, 65, 88, 98-95, 
98, 104, 116, 118, 144-146, 203, 
207,218, 218,245 

Tarbell, Franklin Sumncr, Jr. 

(brother), 12 
Tarbell, Sarah A. (sister), 12, 24, 

68, 98, 121, 144, 145, 850 
Tarbell, William Walter (brother), 

5, 12, 14, 46, 98, 118, 121, 145, 

20S-20J5, 281, S4J5 
Tariff Commission, 278, 270 

Taylor, Frederick W., 292-295, 360 
Tingley, Jeremiah, 41-44, 120 
Titusville, Pa., 4, 17, 19, 20, 22, 28, 

27, 30-32, 46, 64, 6$, 72, 79, 83, 

89, 90, 97, 98, 117, 141, 146, 205, 


Tucker, G. Burr, 264 
Tucker, Mrs. G. Burr, 264 
Tupper, Clara TarbeU (niece), 859 
Tupper, Tristram, 859 
Twain, Mark, 67, 68, 157, 211-218, 

265, 369 

Vacuum Oil Company, 220, 221 
Vanderbilt, Commodore, 25, 88 
Vincent, Dr, John H,, 65-72, 114- 
116, 145 

Walker, Ckra, 54, 55, 57 ? 61 

Walker, Robert, 52, 57-62 

Wallace, Lew, 71 

Wallace, Susan E., 71 

White, William Allen, 200, 259, 260, 

282, S87, 888, 850 
Whitney, Henry 0., 178, 174 
Wiekcraham, George W n 862, 300 
Willard, Franacg R,, 82 
Wilson, Woodrow, 167, 278, 270, 

#18-4)18, 820, 32*2, 328, 381, 84ft. 

MB, 850, 85 1', 856-858, 302, 87 1 9 

874-876, S8CJ, 402 
Winthrop, Judge Jamcm, 00 
Woodhull, Victoria, 82, 83 
Woolf, Virginia, 40 

Young, Owen IX, 880-888 
Zola, Emile, 122^ 1228 


^4. uto biography 

author of **Th& History of 
Standard Oil Company 9 ** ** 
Hf/V> o/f jdibr aham 

DOKPT knov^ h.ow this book 
\vill come out/* Ivliss Tarbell 
explaimed to reporters on her eight- 
ieth birthday. "I am putting do^vn 
the things I have seen, the men and 
women I have knoxvn in five stirring 
decades. Always there have been ex- 
jiting things going on, things that 

ipset me wars., depressions, bloody